Breastfeeding DC Cop Must Take Leave Without Pay

A Washington DC police officer, just back from maternity leave after having her second child, has been forced to take additional unpaid leave because she cannot wear the bullet-proof vest she’d need to perform street patrol duties.  Officer Sashay Brown had requested a desk-based assignment while she was breastfeeding because the vest was very painful and, she said, could clog her milk ducts and affect her milk supply.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Officer Sashay Brown returned to work in May after having her second child. At first, she worked a desk job. Soon after, though, she was forced to patrol the city streets under a new department policy that was meant to force officers who had made dubious claims of health issues back to the street….

[Medical services branch director William] Sarvis said that until department doctors determine Brown is fit for full duty, she’d either have to take sick leave, or unpaid leave if she didn’t have sick days left.

“I’m just coming back from having a baby,” Brown told The Washington Examiner. “I don’t have any sick leave left.”

She and her husband are now a one-income family. Brown plans to breastfeed through her child’s first year.

“That’s a long time to be without pay,” she said. “I’m applying for short-term disability, and am hoping they allow this to be a medical condition.”

The DC police force has recently suffered high attrition rates, losing around 15 officers each month.


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