A jury sided with Delaware mom Autumn Lampkins, who filed a lawsuit alleging that co-workers and supervisors made it so hard for her to pump breast milk during her shifts that her supply dried up.

Rebecca Macatee
February 12, 2019
Sorakrai Tangnoi/Shutterstock

February 12, 2019

Balancing work and breastfeeding isn't without its challenges, but finding a private non-bathroom space to pump shouldn't be one of them. Nursing moms have a legal right to breastfeeding breaks, and if their employers don't comply, they can (and do) take them to court.

This was the case for Autumn Lampkins, a Delaware mother who was awarded more than $1.5 million in damages from the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise she used to work for. According to Delaware Online, a jury agreed with the gender discrimination and harassment claims outlined in Lampkins' lawsuit, which alleged the nursing mother's co-workers and supervisors made it so hard for her to pump breast milk during her shifts that her supply dried up.

Lampkins' lawsuit against the KFC and KFC/Taco Bell where she worked also said that once she was able to pump during her shifts, she rarely had privacy to do so because of windows and surveillance cameras.

As we mentioned before, employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required by the federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law to provide basic accommodations for breastfeeding mothers at work. This includes time for women to express milk and a private space that is not a bathroom each time they need to pump.

Many workspaces now have lactation rooms, but if yours doesn't, ask your employer for an unused office or conference room where you can pump. Breastfeeding moms should plan to pump at least twice during an eight-hour workday, and each session will take 10 to 20 minutes.

You'll need to refrigerate your breast milk, and while having your own personal mini-fridge is a nice option, you can totally use the same fridge everyone else does. As one pumping mama previously told Parents.com, doing this "was awkward at first," but now "nobody bats an eye."

Our big takeaway from all this? Breastfeeding moms should feel comfortable and empowered to pump at work—and they've got a legal right to do just that.

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