Returning to work after having a baby can be a big transition for many parents, especially if you are breastfeeding. Understanding your pumping/breastfeeding rights in the workplace and finding support from your employer is an important part of a successful and healthy transition.
Minnesota law requires employers to provide breastfeeding parents with reasonable break time to express milk and a private room or other location for milk expression, other than a bathroom or a toilet stall, with access to an electrical outlet and near the employee’s workspace.
Although many employers are aware of the accommodation requirements and supportive, some new parents experience push back or even pumping/breastfeeding discrimination at work.
Pumping/breastfeeding in the workplace discrimination can include a wide range of behaviors from an employer, your co-workers, or clients, including:
- Failing to promote or provide training to employees who breastfeed at work.
- Denying reasonable break time to express milk in a private room, other than a bathroom.
- Refusing to hire on the basis that a new mother may require breastfeeding accommodations.
- Subjecting new mothers to increased scrutiny, criticism and discipline.
- Verbal or physical abuse.
- Changing roles or responsibilities or demoting a breastfeeding employee based on the assumption they cannot handle their usual workload.
- Cutting hours, terminating or laying off an employee who has requested breastfeeding accommodations.
- Forcing a pumping/breastfeeding employee to resign.
If you are facing pumping/breastfeeding discrimination after maternity leave, know that you do not have to face it alone. Contact MJSB Employment Justice and we will assess your situation and provide valuable insights into the best options for you.