Bobbi Bockoras Allegedly Forced By Employer To Pump Breastmilk on Dirty Floor
At some point we’ll stop freaking out about boobs, right? Please say yes.
Bobbi Bockoras, a breastfeeding mother in Alleghany, PA, is filing a suit against her employer Saint Gobain Verallia, a glass-bottling factory, alleging repeated discrimination and harassment because she needs time during the day to be able to express breastmilk for her infant daughter.
The claims against her employer are so appalling her legal team has taken up Bockoras’ case pro-bono.
Provisions of the Affordable Care Act in effect since March of 2010 state that employers must provide nursing mothers with private, non-bathroom locations in which to pump. Saint Gobain Verallia first directed Bockoras to pump in the bathroom.
Then directed her to their First Aid room where she was heckled by male coworkers.
Saint Gobain Verallia finally gave her a private room. One without a chair and with a floor littered with bug carcasses and dirt, forcing the mother to pump in filthy surroundings.
When Borackas complained about the abandoned room’s conditions, her employers changed her entire work schedule to put her on a rotation of days and nights and ignored a note from her doctor explaining that she needed regular and consistent hours.
They also said she could expect to experience harassment no matter what shift she worked, harassment that included covering the door knob to her dirty locker room with grease and shards of metal. After 10 weeks of humiliation, Bockoras’ milk production began to suffer and she had to supplement her daughter with formula.
Bockoras’ suit isn’t the first to shed light on the discriminatory conditions many working moms face when they ask for their unpaid, private rooms, which are supposed to be guaranteed by law.
Study after study has shown that supporting breastfeeding mothers is actually more advantageous for employers than making it difficult for them since breastfeeding infants is connected to lower rates of sickness, which means less time off of work for moms.
What do you think, THGers? Should breastfeeding moms be given private rooms in which to pump?