Legal rights - Pumping at work???

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2004
Legal rights - Pumping at work???
10
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 8:10pm
I am a teacher. I'm starting to get concerned about my ability to pump during my schedule next year. My plan period is at the end of the day, so that doesn't really help. I can do it during my lunch but sometimes I have lunch duty. Do we have legal rights for this? I'm really upset about this. :(
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2008
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 8:39pm
Yeah, you do legally have the right to pump if you so choose. I was a teacher when my first was born and had a lengthy conversation about this with the lactation consultant, who kept telling me "They HAVE to let you pump!" I was trying to get it through her head that even though the law might say they have to, it really wouldn't have been reasonable for me to expect them to do it. It would've meant them sending a sub to my room a couple times a day at least.
baby
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Sat, 06-18-2011 - 9:45pm
Yes legally they have to allow you time, a room dedicated just to pumping with a lock on the door. It may vary from state to state. I would.contact La Leche, I'm sure the will know the legal rights or do a search. But it's your bosses job to figure out someone to cover for you during the time you pump.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-1999
Sun, 06-19-2011 - 4:46am
I like the pp ideas. Hopefully it'll be great and they will all work with you to make pumping schedule possible. That's the last thing we need is more stress with a new baby

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Sun, 06-19-2011 - 2:39pm
I do know that pumping for teachers can be a challenge. I'd really, really encourage you to jump over to the breastfeeding / lactation consultant support board. I know this questions comes up over there a lot and the CL of that board has put together a very nice list of tips and tricks specifically for teachers to help them succeed at pumping.

Legal rights regarding pumping vary by state. I know our state really encourages (via PSA) employers to encourage and support pumping.

And really it is in their best interest. Moms who are given the opportunity to pump milk for their child tend to be absent from work less often than those who are not supported in their pumping efforts and end up using formula as a result. While yes there are babies who are sick even while breastfeeding and babies who eat formula who are never sick, in general, statistically speaking moms who breastfeed / pump do not miss as many work days due to childhood illness.

You may have to educate your school a bit about the benefits. Pop over to the Lactation Consultant board. Get their tips. See if you can formulate a plan that will work for you - and if you do need to get by-in from your school, put together your info in a persuasive presentation.

Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Sun, 06-19-2011 - 7:00pm
It is your legal right, but I know it can be tricky to find the time for teachers. Check out the working and pumping board...I know there have been several teachers there in the past, and even if not, the cl is very knowledgeable and can help point you in the right direction for learning your legal rights. The women there can also help you figure out the best times for you to pump.

http://forums.ivillage.com/t5/Working-and-Pumping/ct-p/iv-ppworkpump
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2007
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 10:54am
Yes, if your workplace employs more than 50 employees (which I'm guessing yours does) they have to allow you two breaks throughout the day for pumping in a private place that is not a bathroom. You can check your states legislature for more info on this and you can print out educational information for your employer to present your case. I have heard that they can schedule your breaks in a manner than does not work for your schedule (i.e. last period). I think this depends on your employer and how empathetic they are. Unfortunately the law is not perfect, but a supervisor who works in childhood education should have the urge to nurture and protect all children and hopefully this applies to yours! Look up your rights for your specific state, print them out and learn what you are entitled to and then set up a meeting with your boss to work out a schedule that works for both of you. Maybe you can have an aid or student teacher or helper come for 20 minutes at the end of certain classes to allow you to take a break when you need to pump. I think if you come up with a solution to your problem that does not impact the budget for the school or your student's education, your boss cannot possibly deny you timely breaks to pump. And I know it's stressful & all but try to stay positive and know that it will work out! I beleive that people really do want to do the right thing and that we should never take NO for an answer- just get creative and things can find a way to work for everyone :)
~Andrea~ IMG_1563
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 9:20pm
I agree there are legal rights and Springmomma has an excellent summary. In practice, I think it depends and unless you are willing to fight for it, it may be tough.

I know my employer (with ~1,000 employees onsite) does not have a place for women to pump and they'd probably expect me to use the bathroom. I have an office with a door and lock so I plan to use that and not even bring it up. They're rather antiquated and at this point I just hope they approve my flexible post-maternity leave work options which will already be a big stretch for them.

I really hope doing it during lunch works for you. Maybe you can find someone to share lunch duty. My pumping friends tell me with a quality pump they were usually done in 10-15minutes. They recommended buying complete spare sets so they didn't wash anything at work, just tossed it in a ziploc to handle at home.

Good luck and hope you find something that works!

Melissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2004
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 9:54pm
How do I find the Missouri state laws on this?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
Tue, 06-21-2011 - 12:54am
I believe most of the laws are federal but this is a good site. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389

Melissa
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Tue, 06-21-2011 - 6:38pm

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