Melanie B. who writes: “I recently returned to work from a four-month maternity leave. I am still breastfeeding my daughter and need to pump at work. I only need to pump once while at work and do so during my lunch break. When I asked my employer for a clean place to pump, they told me I have to pump in the bathroom.
So I’ve been pumping in my car during my lunch break every day, because pumping in the bathroom stall is not sanitary. Since I returned to work, I’ve been requesting to work overtime shifts and have been declined. Last week, I requested an overtime shift and was denied again. When I went to HR to ask why I was being denied, they told me they could not let me work overtime because of my ‘special needs.’
Everyone in my job category is allowed to place bids on overtime shifts and to work overtime. Before I went on my maternity leave, I regularly worked overtime shifts. My family relies on my income and on the overtime shifts I used to work in order to survive. We are really struggling to make ends meet now that my employer is not allowing me to take overtime shifts anymore.
Are they allowed to do this? It just doesn’t seem fair to deny me overtime shifts just because I need to pump.”