Man 'Jokes' About Having Secret Screenshots of Coworker Breastfeeding During Zoom Meetings


Woman breastfeeding while using the computer

Office culture has changed since many companies adjusted to working from home while social distancing. This meant that work-life balance took on a new meaning as many parents had to care for kids from the comfort of their new "offices." Although many have tried to give parents some grace and understanding while coworkers who are parents adjusted to this new reality, not everyone has been compassionate with what the new "office" environment looks like. One anonymous person was horrified after learning that a coworker was secretly taking photos of a breastfeeding colleague who nurses during their Zoom meetings. Of course, the "creepy" coworker swore he was joking when they pressed him, but now his colleague is not sure how to know if he's telling the truth.

  • The anonymous Letter Writer (LW) explained that a coworker, "Kristen," recently gave birth.

    As LW explained in a letter to the Dear Prudie advice column, Kristen "frequently" breastfeeds while she's on Zoom. Kristen times things out this way because she "says that it is the best way to keep the baby quiet," the coworker explained. "But due to camera angles and movement you can sometimes see her breast, or part of it, as the baby feeds."

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  • You would think that the LW's coworkers would be unfazed by a woman doing something completely natural.

    But unfortunately, one of her colleagues is really "creepy" about the whole thing behind her back.

    "In a separate chat, about a different project Kristen isn't involved in, he told us he had taken screenshots," the LW wrote.

  • The LW was disgusted, but when the LW challenged the coworker, he said he was kidding.

    "When I challenged him, he makes jokes about her sexual attractiveness and how lucky the baby is," the colleague wrote. "I told him he was disgusting and I didn't want to hear anymore."

    The coworker had seemingly piped down with the jokes but "he said I had no sense of humor -- but other people say he still says things to them," the LW added.

  • Now the LW isn't sure what to do.

    The LW doesn't want to tell "sweet and prim" coworker Kristen about their colleague's jokes.

    "I don't want her to feel awkward or that she can't feed the baby," the person wrote.

    But surely the LW has to do something. The LW has screenshots of the conversation with the "creepy" coworker, but wondered if it was wrong to pass them along to higher-ups given that it was "a semiprivate conversation."

    "Although I told him to stop in there and he did, so I don't know if the supervisor would do anything," LW wrote. "Other people have said it isn't my business and I should just let it go, but that doesn't feel right."

  • Most people online agreed: Her coworker needs to be reported.

    "First of all the guy needs to be fired or severely reprimanded but hopefully fired," one commenter wrote. "No problem there and the thought of having to deal with this guy and creeps like him gives me hives."

    "Your co-worker who took screenshots of your other co-worker breastfeeding is sick and creepy," someone else agreed. "The fact that he bragged about this to you and several other co-workers is disturbing. Moreover the fact that he's mentioned this particular co-worker in a sexual light on several occasions puts up more red flags than a color guard troupe. It's time for you to do something.  I would immediately alert your HR department or your immediate supervisor to this co-worker's shenanigans. Let them handle it from there."

    A third person put it this way: "Wow, this guy is a pig. I hope his [expletive] gets fired."

  • A few people thought Kristen was also at fault for not keeping her camera off while she breastfeeds.

    "For the breastfeeding mom -- turn off the camera," one person commented.

    "Okay, don't get me wrong. I am not blaming the victim here: the co-worker should be outed, the breastfeeder and HR and the supervisor all notified, and the creepy guy should be fired if not arrested," wrote someone else. "But why wouldn't she turn off her camera if she's breastfeeding on a work call?"

    "Am I missing something here?" someone else asked. "I think it's unprofessional to breastfeed on a business zoom meeting. You wouldn't do that at the office. Puhleeze."

  • According to columnist Danny M. Lavery -- the LW's coworker made it their business.

    The LW didn't ask to know about his creepy photos, but now that they do, LW has a responsibility to take them seriously.

    "Moreover, he's only stopped talking about it to you, and is still making lewd and unprofessional comments about Kristen's body to the rest of her colleagues, which makes it clear that he's uninterested in actually stopping," Lavery explained.

    And his joke? It's not funny.

    "What would the joke have been? 'Wouldn't it be funny if I took pictures of our co-worker while she breastfeeds her infant?'" Lavery wrote. "It seems fairly clear he only tried to pass it off as a joke once you objected to it."

    The LW shouldn't think of the conversation as being "semi-private." It was a work chat, so therefore it couldn't have been private.

    "Kristen is trying to keep a newborn baby quiet and happy while working from home, which is incredibly difficult, and your co-worker has used that as justification to gossip and objectify her, possibly even to take pictures of her," Lavery continued.

    And it's nothing to take lightly.

    "This is an issue not just for your supervisor to address but for HR to take on as well," he wrote.