Boston, Holt & Durham, PLLC

Employment law can help protect new mothers

Balancing work and motherhood is an ongoing battle for many American women. Many women have to work to support their families and so return to work in Tennessee as soon as they are physically able. In a recent case in another state a woman is suing her employer for failing to accommodate her needs as a nursing mother. Recent changes in employment law can further protect nursing mothers.

The woman was hired as an assistant manager at a KFC a few months after she gave birth. She informed the company that she had an infant and was nursing and was informed that the job would not interfere with her needs to nurse her baby. However she was soon scheduled to work a 10 hour shift with only one break, which did not allow adequate time for expressing milk.

After completing training, she was moved to another location and demoted to shift supervisor. She was accused of insubordination because of asking to take frequent breaks in order to express milk. The woman brought a lawsuit against the company, alleging that due to the difficulty she had with fellow employees in this situation, her milk dried up and she was forced to switch to formula sooner than she had planned.

The suit was decided in the woman's favor and she was awarded $1.5 million in damages. A woman has a right to work in Tennessee and also has a right to care for her child. If a woman feels she is being discriminated against based on her need to care for a newborn child, she may wish to seek the counsel of a lawyer experienced in employment law.

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