Under federal law, since 2010, women returning from maternity leave who are breastfeeding, nursing parents – are entitled to a clean, private, non-restroom, non-bathroom space in which to express milk; to take a break and to lactate on a similar schedule to what your baby would be doing, nursing, if you were home, two or three times a day. Otherwise, it’s very painful, you can develop mastitis, it may interfere permanently with your ability to breastfeed, and it’s illegal.
This week’s the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – the 1978 federal law designed and enacted to protect women who become pregnant while working, from being fired while pregnant and working.
Here’s one thing all pregnant working women in the United States now have in every State in the Union, and that’s the right not to be treated differently, not to experience hostility, backlash, a diminution, a degradation to the terms or the conditions or the privileges of your employment because of your pregnancy, because of your childbirth, or because of a related medical condition.
If you’re struggling with work-related, pregnancy related challenges while you’re working, just understand that it is illegal even if your employer doesn’t know it. And don’t give up, don’t despair.
Your company must have a conversation with you about your needs when you’re pregnant, and it has to “reasonably accommodate” you – that’s the phrase for having a little flexibility when you are pregnant.