A new mom was fired from her job after she refused to return to work after maternity leave when she was told she was not able to tack an extra 15 minutes onto her break in order to breastfeed her baby. Kate Abra Frederick worked as a child support officer with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and normally, she was allowed a 15-minute break. But being that her son refused to take a bottle, Kate wanted a little more time so she could run over to a daycare that was two minutes from her job. Her employer said no, and now Kate has filed suit with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
I don't think that moms deserve special treatment or extra rights just because they have kids. But I do think that, while we're constantly being bombarded with messages of how "breast is best", the United States sure doesn't make it easy for nursing moms. Especially nursing moms who have jobs.
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The pressure of returning to work after you have a baby is enormous. It's a low-grade anxiety that constantly sits in the back of your mind during your maternity leave. And I can't imagine how a mother whose baby refuses a bottle would feel. The stress is unimaginable. Some women are blessed with employers who are understanding and helpful to breastfeeding mothers, but many aren't. And in the case of Kate Abra Fredrick, she basically was forced to choose between her job and her child. And when faced with those two options, the decision is easy. But it had to have been infuriating.
If Kate's employer had granted her the extra 15 minutes and she began taking advantage of it, that wouldn't have been right. I assume her intent in asking was to help make her return -- for both herself and her baby -- easier. When her son eventually learned to eat from a bottle, I'm guessing she would have just given him pumped breast milk. Offering no leeway on something like this is just ridiculous and gave her no other choice but to quit. She was asking for 15 minutes, not an hour.
Breast may be best, but it sure isn't easiest. Wow.
Do you think Kate should have been granted the extra 15 minutes?
by Anonymous 1August 21, 2013 at 12:48 PMI'd file a suit. My dd refuses to take a bottle also. And I don't think she was asking for too much.
by Anonymous 2August 21, 2013 at 1:07 PMI thought she wanted to be paid to breastfeed. She can take breaks on her own time, not on the clock. Wanna breastfeed on demand or pump, stay home. Go to work, work like everyone else does.
by Anonymous 3August 21, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Agreed--- get your business done on your lunch break--
If Joe has and enlarged prostate making it difficult to piss, will he get to stay in the bathroom for 45 minutes without being reprimanded?
I really wish these mothers would stop with the drama and acting as if pregnancy and breastfeeding is a disability. It's not.
Figure out a way to accomplish what you want to get done over your lunch hour, and do it.
Pump it, have the baby brought in by someone, find a closer daycare, or stay home and have all the time you need.
I thought she wanted to be paid to breastfeed. She can take breaks on her own time, not on the clock. Wanna breastfeed on demand or pump, stay home. Go to work, work like everyone else does.
by Anonymous 2August 21, 2013 at 10:07 PMWhat if every employee wanted an extra 15 min every day??? That lady is not living in the real world.
by Anonymous 2August 21, 2013 at 10:38 PMShe wants extra time.
Aren't employers required by law to provide moms who breastfeed breaks for pumping? How is this any different?
It would have been nice for her employer to allow her the fifteen minutes, but it's not required. She should have given up part of her lunch in order to make the time up she's be missing. As a nation we need to make it a little easier for breast feeding moms.
If you can't do the job you were hired for then you get fired, it's just that simple. Requiring extra break time, for whatever reason, is a breach in your employment, "contract". Employers have certain needs and guidelines and there is no need to bend the rules.
by reindeer-cAugust 22, 2013 at 6:41 AM
Yes, and I hope she wins!!!