Breastfeeding Mom Claims She Was Fired After Boss Said Pumping Was 'Gross'

BreastpumpIt hardly seem possible these days that employers wouldn't be as accommodating as possible to breastfeeding moms, but it does happen. One woman in Colorado even claims that she was fired from her job as a hair stylist after her boss called pumping "gross." Ashley Provino has filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer, stating that she was discriminated against for choosing to nurse her child.


Provino, of Grand Junction, CO, claimed in court documents Tuesday, December 2, that she "sought to take periodic work breaks to pump breast milk" for her infant son. All she wanted was to take a break every four hours to pump in the backroom of Big League Haircuts, but she said that owner Kyle Reed "adamantly refused" to let her, and even called it "gross."

More from The Stir: Breastfeeding Mom Fired Because She Refused to Pump Breast Milk in Bathroom

According to the documents filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver by lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, Provino claims that Reed responded by cutting her hours so that she never worked more than four hour shifts, and that he ultimately fired her over it.

The complaint also alleges that Reed fired a second worker who requested time to pump when she returned from maternity leave.

ACLU cooperating attorney Paula Greisen said, "Discrimination against breastfeeding mothers in the workplace is not only illegal, it is also bad for Colorado families and businesses, because it forces women out of the workplace."

That's true, if that's what actually happened here. Reed was able to be reached over the phone, and called the claims "total fiction." He said he would fight the charges, and, "She has dollar signs in her eyes and thinks she’s going to win a million dollars."

Like I said, it's hard to imagine that this sort of thing still happens these days. Even if he did think it was gross, or was even just embarrassed to talk about it, I'd like to think most men would have the decorum to at least turn red and mumble something about that being all right, and leave it at that.

Breastfeeding offers the best nutrition to babies, and not all moms have the option or the desire to stay home with their babies full time. For moms who want to nurse, pumping is a reality. It doesn't have to be a big deal, it can be done discreetly, and it isn't "gross."

Do you think asking for breaks to pump breast milk is an unreasonable request?


Image via Frédérique Voisin-Demery/Flickr

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