I’ve been on vacation so I wasn’t able to comment as I would have liked on the article from Salon.com, Lactate on Your Own Time Lady, in which Kate Harding details a recent Ohio Supreme Court decision confirming the Totes/Isotoner company’s right to terminate an employee for taking breaks to pump breastmilk.
This is yet another example of mothers being caught between conficting beliefs and expectations with no way to win. First comes the expectation for mothers to sacrifice anything and everything to care for their child – breastfeeding being a prime example. Pediatricians now recommend at least 6 months to a year of breastfeeding to benefit the health of both baby and mother. And there are plenty of scare tactics out there to get us to do what is a very demanding task physically and time-wise. Yet here comes the Ohio Supreme Court on the other side to say, sorry, you can be fired for taking breaks to breastfeed. Thereby demonstrating the second conflicting , and outdated assumption – that jobs must be one-size-fits-all and workplaces have no interest or obligation to consider that most of the population – mothers, fathers, those caring for the elderly – need time in their lives for significant caregiving responsibilities.
Thanks to Mojo Mom Amy Tiemann for not only for her astute commentary on her blog but also for posting her letter to Totes/Isotoner and their reply.