After they were forced to pump breast milk in front of coworkers in bathrooms, cars, and locker rooms, five mothers have filed a complaint with New York City about their employer, the New York Police Department.
The complaint, which could become a class-action, was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this year. The women involved allege that they were not provided proper accommodations with which to express milk, and when they complained to their superiors, they were retaliated against and mocked.
If the allegations are affirmed, the NYPD’s actions are in violation of New York State’s 2007 law that mandates new mothers be provided with 20-minute breaks every three hours inside a private room designated for milk pumping while they are at work.
As a result of the lack of accommodations, the women state that they often had to delay pumping, which resulted in painful health issues and, in some cases, clogged breast ducts that became infected. Some of them stopped producing milk entirely.
Devora Kaye, NYPD Assistant Commissioner, stated that all new precincts will be built with designated spaces for breastfeeding mothers and that all existing precincts will have to carve out private spaces.