I found this article on mommy track'd and am totally appalled! I needed to share it with you all. I don't really know what we can do about it, but the blogoshpere is a huge network, and if any of you are from Ohio, I think maybe you can contact your State Representatives.
Court Upholds Firing of Mom for Taking Breaks at Work to Pump Breastmilk.
An employee at the Ohio Totes/Isotoner warehouse who was breastfeeding her 5-month-old baby said she asked her employers for breaks long enough to enable her to express her breastmilk, but supervisors rejected her requests. So when she went ahead and pumped her breastmilk anyway without their permission, she was fired, according to media reports. The mom took Totes/Isotoner to court, suing on the basis of pregnancy discrimination, and the Ohio State Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the company.
“The state’s highest court did not rule on whether the pregnancy law covers new mothers who are lactating,” the Columbus Dispatch reported. “Instead, the court said [the woman] missed her chance to put that question to the test by taking breaks without permission instead of seeking an accommodation. ‘In this case, the evidence in the record demonstrates that [the woman] took unauthorized breaks from her workstation, and Isotoner discharged her for doing so,’ the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.”
Writing on the web site Salon, Kate Harding scoffed at the court’s ruling that firing someone for taking unauthorized breaks to express breastmilk isn’t related to pregnancy, especially when she read the following excerpt from the decision which she called a “colossal eye-roller:”
“[The woman] gave birth over five months prior to her termination from [Isotoner]. Pregnant [women] who give birth and choose not to breastfeed or pump their breasts do not continue to lactate for five months. Thus, [the woman’s] condition of lactating was not a condition relating to pregnancy but rather a condition related to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding discrimination does not constitute gender discrimination.” (September 2009) © 2009 Mommy Track'd LLC