If Nursing Moms Don't Complain About Pumping at Work, No One Should

breastfeeding signA Texas judge recently ruled that a woman wasn't discriminated against when she was fired from her job after asking her boss for a place to pump breast milk. Just before returning to work after her maternity leave, Donnicia Venters asked the VP of the debt collection agency she worked at if she could be provided with a private place to pump milk for her baby. Seems like a reasonable question. But the answer she got was the opposite of reasonable. The answer she got was, "Your job has been filled."

To add insult to injury, Judge Lynn Hughes just dismissed Venters' case, which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying that she was not discriminated against because of pregnancy. See, as Hughes put it, "[Donnicia] gave birth on December 11, 2008. After that day, she was no longer pregnant, and her pregnancy-related conditions had ended."



Technicalities, legalities, and other alities aside, I think we all know why Venters was given the boot: Because it's sooooo annoying for employers to have employees pumping breast milk on the job. Like, way more annoying than it is for the moms who have to do it.

When new moms return to work, a lot of things go through their heads. Yes, missing their children is among the nine billion thoughts up there, but so is doing a good job at their job. Moms who re-enter the workforce after having kids do so either because they need to for financial reasons or, plain and simple, they want to. In other words, they're in between a rock and a hard place: They want to prove themselves as being just as efficient workers as before, and they want to be the best moms they can be.

Of course, being a good mom means spending time with your baby. And, quite frankly, pumping cuts into that. Unless you have a job where your hours are a strict 9 to 5, odds are, you're going to be at the office a little bit later than you would have been because you took time out to pump. And that sucks. For the moms, not for the employers.

It's getting really tiresome hearing and reading about all these complaints/firings/whatever bosses, CEOs, and random, non-pumping workers are making. They're the people it affects the least. Pumping doesn't have anything to do with them. It's a hindrance for the moms who want to get home before their babies fall asleep. And you don't hear them complaining, do you?

Did you pump at work?


Image via acme/Flickr

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