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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:35 AM

California Teacher Sues School District Over Breastfeeding Rights

A former teacher and new mom in California is suing the Carmel Unified School District after being told to try to train her body not to lactate so she wouldn't have to pump breast milk during working hours.

Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle was hired by the Carmelo School in August, 2010, to take care of kids age six months to four years old in their Child Development Center. In September 2011, after the birth of her first child, she met with her supervisor to talk about her return from maternity leave. Her doctor wanted her to breastfeed her infant son, she said, and she would need 15 to 20 minutes each day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to pump breast milk.

The request was well within the guidelines of California law, which states: "Every employer… shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child." But, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Yahoo! Shine, instead of agreeing to Boyle's request, her supervisor, Laura Schimmel-Dunn, allegedly told Boyle to start "training my breasts not to make milk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., so that she would not need to pump."

When she asked how she should try to do that, the lawsuit says she was told to "push the feedings further and further apart" so that her newborn son "would not desire feedings during that time period." The new mom felt that doing so would be force her to "starve Sawyer slightly." A few months later, Boyle was told that she was "not a good fit" for the school and her contract was not renewed.

"We believe that this whole thing is not only a violation of California labor laws, but that they retaliated against her and refused to renew her contract because of that," Boyle's lawyer, Kenneth J. Kroopf, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview on Friday.

http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/california-teacher-sues-school-district-over-breastfeeding-rights-201500784.html

6 replies, 1027 views

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Reply California Teacher Sues School District Over Breastfeeding Rights (Original post)
davidn3600 Nov 2012 OP
Prometheus_unbound Nov 2012 #1
msongs Nov 2012 #2
Ilsa Nov 2012 #3
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #6
vanlassie Nov 2012 #4
phylny Nov 2012 #5

Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:19 AM

1. Sue the pigs

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 04:45 AM

2. teachers get a lunch break every day usually around 11am -noonish. there it is nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:46 AM

3. After 11 might be pushing it for her, especially

Since the body produces more milk in the morning. Her supply could shut down or she could develop mastitis from not regularly relieving the supply. Not what you want when try to keep up supply and avoid formula feeding.

Teachers have a harder time establishing good pump times, but their employer should accommodate them.

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:15 AM

6. she's not a teacher; sounds like she's a part-time head start or day care worker. they may

 

call them 'teachers' but they usually have AAs in early childhood ed or less if they're working directly with the kids, and no teaching credential.

and i suspect defunding, budget cuts and layoffs are the root of the problem.


Last week’s passage of Proposition 30 ensured that K-12 schools will not receive additional cuts in state funding this year. Preschool and child-care programs, however, already experienced cuts by the state legislature over the summer, leaving many early learning providers to cobble together funding or serve fewer children in need.

Service providers across the state saw an 8.7 percent drop in funding this year following similar cuts the previous three fiscal years, according to the California Budget Project, a research group. Larry Drury, who runs Go Kids, Inc. in the South County, said it’s really a 10.7 percent decrease due to trigger cuts made by the state in the middle of the last fiscal year that only kicked in this past summer.

http://www.preschoolcalifornia.org/news-media/media-coverage/2012/cuts-to-early-learning.html

iow, they're short-staffed, she's works directly with the kids, and they'd rather hire someone who doesn't need an extra 15 minute break (in addition to her lunch break, i'm assuming).

seems pretty wrong that it's a child-care center doing it, though. i'm guessing there may be other problems because the centers are small & if the management likes you there's always a way.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:01 AM

4. I wonder why she is not using the Ca Dept of Labor complaint process?

There is a $100.00 per day penalty for what that employer did. Lactation Accommodation is not negotiable. Employers must provide reasonable time even if it is more than the regular break time. They just don't have to pay any amount beyond the break that might be needed.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 06:42 AM

5. Idiots.

I manage an outpatient clinic. Every nursing mother who works for me knows that all they have to do is block out space in their schedules for pumping. I honor it. As a former nursing mother (heh - years ago!) I know it's vitally important.

THAT'S the way you keep good employees.

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