Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-08-13

Woman Sues After Being Harassed and Denied Space to Pump Breast Milk at Work

A Pennsylvania woman filed suit against her employer this week stating that she was discriminated against and harassed because the new mother wanted to pump breast milk at work.

Bobbi Bockoras returned to work at a Port Allegany, PA glass factory after giving birth, only to be ridiculed and denied the right to pump breast milk in a safe and clean environment. "Rather than help me follow my doctor's recommendations, I believe my employer ignored its legal obligations, allowed me to be bullied and harassed, and then retaliated against me for standing up for my rights," said Bockoras. "No employee should have to go through that."

Bockoras has worked at the glass factory for 6 years. When she returned after the birth of her child and and needed to pump breast milk, her employer first suggested she pump in the bathroom. She was then told to pump in the first aid room, but Bockoras was frequently interrupted. Her employer then told her to pump in an old locker room. The locker room was furnished with only one chair, the temperature sometimes reached 106 degrees, and the floor was covered in dead bugs.

"I was completely disgusted, but what could I do?" said Bockoras. "I only had a short break before I had to be back on my shift, and my baby has to eat, so I pumped there anyway."

According to Bockoras, her co-workers subjected her to harassment while she tried to pump, including pounding on the door demanding to enter and greasing the door handle with grease containing metal shards. When she complained, Bockoras was moved from her consistent day shift to a rotating shift, against the recommendation of her doctor. Working this shift, which required her to switch frequently between day and night shifts, impacted her breastfeeding schedule, causing her breast milk production to decrease by 50 percent.
Bockoras filed a federal civil complaint against her employer on Wednesday as well as a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Media Resources: ACLU 10/22, 11/6; ACLU Blog 11/6; NWLC 11/7


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/22/2014 US Ranks 16th in 2014 Social Progress Index - The Social Progress Imperative recently released its 2014 Social Progress Index, ranking the United States in 16th place among 132 countries. Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, a Republican who led the report team, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that he was surprised by the ranking. . . .
 
4/22/2014 Florida Supreme Court Recognizes Anti-Discrimination Protections for Pregnant Workers - The Florida State Supreme Court ruled last week that pregnancy discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Florida employment law. The 6-1 decision allows Peguy Delva to proceed with her lawsuit against her employer, real estate developer Continental Group. . . .
 
4/21/2014 Arizona Governor Signs Bill Allowing Suprise Inspections of Abortion Clinics - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last week allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a warrant. HB 2284 repeals an Arizona law that requires a judge to give approval for inspections of abortion clinics. . . .