Waitress Forbidden from Pumping Breastmilk at Work, Manager Feared She’d “Spray All Over” His Office

The New York Daily News is reporting on a new kind of breastfeeding bully. The latest offender is a chain restaurant manager in Seal Beach, California, and he made a terrible mistake last week.

Kristen Joseph, a 28-year-old single mom and waitress at Hennessey Tavern, was just trying to earn a living—and pump her breastmilk during a 10-minute break from work, as she had done for the last six months—when her as-hole manager stood in her way, according to the report.

Joseph says he refused to give her keys to the office so that she could pump in private. “He said it was disgusting,” she told CBS Los Angeles. “He said he didn’t want me to spray all over his office.”

But apparently he was fine with her waiting on tables while her breasts leaked.

After crying outside, Joseph says she returned to her shift and continued to work as her milk leaked on her shirt, because she had tables to close and paperwork to finish.

How can a manager be so cruel? This poor woman is a single mother, and I imagine she returned to work (despite the humiliation) because she was afraid of being fired.

Companies with more than 50 employees are required to provide an area, separate from the bathroom, for women to pump their breast milk, according to the report. Although I don’t know how many people this particular restaurant employed, how hard is it to give someone a private space for 10 minutes?

I stopped breastfeeding before I returned to work, so I never had to worry about pumping on the job (although my company is very accommodating to nursing mothers). Have you ever had any problems pumping at work?

As an aside, I’ve never been to a Hennessy Tavern, and now I’ll be sure to never go to one.

Photo: Breastfeeding mother via Natalia Dexbakh/Shutterstock.com

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  1. [...] Waitress forbidden from pumping breast milk at work (Parents.com) [...]

  2. by Attorney

    On August 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    She should sue her employer. I’m sure if she hasnt been advised already I would look into filing a complaint with the local or state EEO office. The man is an idiot and should be fired for his actions.

  3. by Debra

    On August 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I worked at the county assessor’s office and after asking around for a room to pump in, I was told to pump in the ssessor’s office because she was not at work that day. So I sat at a huge conference table it was pretty funny

  4. by Debra

    On August 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I worked at the County Assessor’s office and after asking around for a room to pump in, I was told to pump in the Assessor’s office because she was not at work that day and besides the bathroom, it was the only other place they could think of. I sat at a huge conference table it was pretty nerve racking. (This is a large building in a large county who employs well over 50) She would have flipped if she saw me she was to put it nicely a grumpy lady.