UPSP Fails to Accommodate Nursing Mothers

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Several employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS) are pressing charges against the organization, claiming a lack of adequate rest intervals and private, safe, and sanitary facilities where they could express breast milk.


The PUMP Act was enacted by Congress to mandate employers to accommodate reasonable break times and a safe, private (non-bathroom) area for employees to pump breast milk.


Some employees were compelled by USPS to pump in the back of their non-air-conditioned trucks.


The United States Postal Service Accused of Neglecting Lactating Mothers, Reports a Complaint Lodged by Siri & Glimstad Under the PUMP Act.


The allegation insists that the USPS has consistently failed to provide its maternal mail delivery employees with the necessary breaks and spaces to pump. A few instances include:


One USPS worker was expelled from the facility after asking for a pumping break, met with verbal abuse and the threat of police intervention. She also faced a potential seven-day suspension for stating that she would be unavailable to operate machinery due to her pumping schedule.


Certain employees were made to pump in the back of their non-air-conditioned delivery trucks under unsanitary conditions, parked in public areas with the door slightly open to prevent overheating. On requesting an alternative location, the supervisor of one of these employees suggested she could use a locker room surrounded by other employees or a bathroom stall.


Another worker was only allowed to pump in a communal locker room every morning, where she was subject to uncomfortable stares and remarks. Her supervisor rejected her request to hang a privacy sheet or use an available office for pumping.


In a separate case, a supervisor demanded a doctor’s note from an employee to extend her pumping time beyond 15 minutes without repercussions.


Aaron Siri from Siri & Glimstad, LLP, one of the attorneys representing the employees, stated, “The PUMP Act was introduced by Congress to ensure American businesses respect the rights and requirements of lactating employees. USPS has a duty to adhere to this law, and we are optimistic that the court will rule in favor of the mothers who have been mistreated by USPS.”


The lawsuit filed against the United States Postal Service (USPS) for alleged violation of the PUMP Act can result in several potential outcomes, depending on how the court evaluates the evidence and interprets the law:


1. Dismissal: The court may find the lawsuit lacks merit or sufficient evidence to proceed. In such a case, the lawsuit would be dismissed, which means no changes would be made, and the USPS wouldn’t face any penalties.


2. Settlement: The USPS might decide to settle the lawsuit out of court. In a settlement, the USPS could agree to make changes to their policies and/or pay a certain amount of money to the plaintiffs without admitting guilt. Settlements often include confidentiality clauses.


3. Judgement in favor of the Plaintiffs: If the court finds USPS guilty of violating the PUMP Act, it could order USPS to modify its policies to be more accommodating to breastfeeding employees. This could also include providing appropriate facilities for pumping and adhering to the required break times. In addition, the USPS could be ordered to pay damages to the employees who filed the lawsuit.


4. Judgement in favor of the USPS: The court may also rule in favor of USPS if it finds that the organization didn’t violate the PUMP Act or if the evidence presented by the plaintiffs was not sufficient to prove a violation.


It’s important to note that even after a judgment, there’s often the potential for an appeal, which could alter the final outcome.


As the case unfolds, the implications will not only impact the USPS and its employees but also potentially set a precedent for how the PUMP Act is applied and enforced across other workplaces in the country.


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