Yes, that's right, my pump broke. And yes, I had to work three days in a row. Luckily, I had plenty of milk in the fridge, but Thursday during one pump break, I had to hand express - not fun. Before I left for work I ordered a Medela Harmony. It was like $30, came on Friday, and a manual pump. So I had that to get me through the weekend thankfully. Also, I am getting replacement parts for my electric because of the warranty.
Which work this weekend was awful. I got scratched, one of my coworkers was bitten twice (two different kids), and if I wasn't holding someone to keep them from attacking, I was trying to verbally de-esclalate them. It was emotionally and physically exhausting.
Then on Monday, I went to take a pump break, and come back and my shift lead asks me where I had been. I told her, pumping - and she asked if I clocked out to pump.
Um, no. Why would I clock out for a break, the smokers don't clock out.
Then she proceeds to tell me that I need to get my shift covered by a shift lead for every break.
Ok, but shift leads aren't always around - does that mean I just don't get a break?
"Well, that's what (your coworker) had to do."
So - I have to clock out, when no one else has to for my breaks.
Let's recap together. Legally, I am required to have one 15 minute break for every three hours of work. That means that in an 8 hour shift, I get two breaks. On a normal day for me, I only get one. Especially if I am working with a consumer that is 1:1, I might not get a break until 9p when my shift starts at 3p. Also, I found this little facts sheet about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
It says here that employers are required to provide a private space, free from intrusion for me to use when I need to pump. Well, that certainly doesn't happen. We have four staff offices, two which have obstructed view, and all of them are locked. But every time I pump, I am interrupted by my coworkers that have to use this office because it stores every that is needed for the job - meds, toys, a phone for consumers to call people, van keys etc. Not only have I not gotten my required breaks, I have also not had a private place.
And they want me to clock out for a pump break? Oh. Hell. No.
So Tuesday I called the Dept of Labor and filed a complaint. If the smokers can take a break and get paid for it, I should be too. This where it gets interesting - I get a call last night from another of my managers. He asks to talk, and I explain the clocking out situation. He tells me it's not my specific workplace that has that policy, but it came from HR.
Human Resources has this blanket policy for nursing mothers to clock out for breaks because it takes longer than 5 minutes.
I'm sorry, but the smokers take longer than five minutes, and when I pump I am still in the building and can easily put myself back together and be out on the floor if something is happening. The average smoker will take at least three breaks (oh wait, fifteen minutes total through the shift? Hmmm....that sounds like how much time I usually take...), and sometimes more. I don't take any smoke breaks, and if you don't smoke, there is no real break from work.
You want to know what else takes about fifteen-twenty minutes for me? A BM. That's right, I know its a lot of information, but it can take me about twenty minutes to poop. Am I supposed to clock out for those times too? You can't tell me I can't poop at work.
Want to know the best part? This fight is basically over 30 minutes of time for each shift. That's right, this fight is over 5 dollars.
I am pissed off, and I will not back down in this fight. This is unfair, and I refuse to deal with it. I won't go down without a fight, and guess what, the law is on my side. I have to fix this for every nursing mother at my workplace.
BUT CHECK OUT MY CUTE BABY!
|I hope she never works there.|
Pump broke, getting new parts, work sucks. Laws.