One of the rooms where Bockoras was told to pump.A woman named Bobbi Bockoras has filed a lawsuit against her employer, Saint-Gobain Containers' glass factory in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. Bockoras alleges that when she requested a sanitary space to pump, her bosses offered her various disgusting areas as options ...
First, she was sent to a bathroom, then to a first aid room where male staff members would regularly heckle and harass her (OMG!), after which came a room with glass walls and no lock on the door, a filthy shower room that had dead bugs on the floor, and finally, an old locker room, which "was covered in dirt and dead bugs" and without air conditioning -- which Bockoras notes "is serious, because temperatures can get up to 106 degrees on the factory floor." As if that wasn't enough, colleagues then greased the doorknob, and when she complained, her shifts were changed to nights and early mornings. Can you believe this?!
It's no wonder that as result of this horrifying experience, Bockoras says the stress caused her to stop producing milk altogether. So, so wrong.
Thank goodness Bockoras is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. This is a big freakin' deal! It's beyond inhumane. As Bockoras put it, "No woman should have to go through what I did simply to do what's best for her baby."
Some may argue we've come a long way as far as how employers are treating new moms in the workplace, but this is a scary (albeit extreme, perhaps?) example of how we still have a long way to go ... Sure, the Affordable Care Act states that new mothers are required to be allowed a reasonable amount of time to pump milk during work hours and that for the first year after giving birth, they must be offered a clean area, "other than a bathroom," not in view of any other employees. That's a start, but it's sadly clear not every employer is interested in abiding by the law. And that's one reason my fingers are crossed that Bockoras and the ACLU -- which has taken on her case pro bono -- win her battle and make a dent in a war that far too many women are still facing.
Would you agree that we still have a way to go when it comes to pumping in the workplace?
Image via ACLU.org