After 2 years of working for the Hampton Inn Hotel of Bordentown, New Jersey, a breastfeeding mom is laid off due to pumping requirements. on March 9th 2015 Ariana Gossard had to leave on maternity leave early due to her high risk pregnancy as well as complications that began arising. After a couple months of taking care of herself on May 4, 2015 Ariana delivered a beautiful baby girl via C-Section and decided she wanted to breastfeed her little angel. Ariana doesn’t have too much of an over supply so pumping and building up her stash has been a bit of a challenge but being a single parent and a working mom she was determined to make it work.
On July 30, 2015 Ariana had a meeting with the General and Assistant manager of the Hampton Inn Hotel in Borderntown, NJ in which they were to discuss the “plan” for her return as a front desk agent which was set to happen on August 24th. During the meeting she was asked which shifts she would be able to work and she was honest in saying that she preferred set days since it would be easier for her to schedule her babysitter but considering that she needed the job she would be open to work the shifts that were available.
This is when things took a turn for the worse…
During the meeting Ariana manifested that she was exclusively breastfeeding her baby and she would need to take small breaks to express her breastmilk, she told them the breaks would last anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes but if necessary they did not have to be paid. Ariana proceeded to explain all the complications related to going 8 + hours without nursing/pumping but her General Manager told her that in order to accommodate her pumping needs they would have to put two staff members on the floor so one could cover for her while she took her pumping break and that was not something they could decide on their own. They offered her to speak with the hotel owner and they would get back to Ariana by August 3rd. 2015.
Days went by and there were no words from either the General or Assistant Manager so on August 6th 2015 Ariana decided to text her General Manager but received no response. On August 7th, 2015 Ariana went ahead and reached out to the Assistant Manager wanting to know what the owner had said about her return to work but she was told there were no positions available for her at the moment and that any concern she might have she should contact the General Manager directly and so she did, the response she got was once again pretty much the same, there are no positions available at the time.
According to the U.S Department of Labor: “Employers are required to provide ‘reasonable break time for an employee to express breastmilk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.’”
On her facebook post Ariana wrote: “As of August 7th 2015 I am unemployed due to being a breastfeeding mother who wants her breaks during work to express breastmilk. How unfair is that? I bring a beautiful baby into this world, want to feed her the best way I can and in return I get fired from my job.”
Ariana is asking for our help so that her story can reach local news stations. As you may know August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month and this year’s “World Breastfeeding Week’s” theme was: “Breastfeeding and work: let’s make it work.”
Let’s help her and all the other nursing moms around the world stop this discrimination, let’s help create awareness of all the laws that protect breastfeeding moms. Share this post with your local news station, specially with the ones located in Borderntown, New Jersey. Let’s make a change together!
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