An Angleton mother who recently gave birth is reportedly not being provided by her employer with a suitable time or place to pump breast milk at work. Gabrielle Castaneda, who gave birth prematurely to a baby girl in November 2014 with a birth defect which causes her intestines to protrude from her body, was instructed by NICU staff to continue to pump breast milk for her baby to help with her growth. Unfortunately, doing so has become a problem at her place of work, the Galveston County Community Action Council (GCCAC).
“My employer, they won't let me pump. I mean, they say I can,
but on my own time.” Castaneda said.
“They have no place for me at work, they won't do anything for me."
Do Employers Have to Accommodate for Lactating Mothers?
According to Employment Law Attorney Daryl Sinkule of the Houston employment law firm Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP, federal law requires employers to provide mothers with reasonable accommodations to express breast milk at work. "Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide their employees who are expressing breast milk an opportunity to do that, so they are to afford them a place to go that is out of the view of the public."
After several phone calls to the GCCAC by ABC 13 Eyewitness News, dividers were eventually installed around Castaneda’s desk – though they do not nearly provide the level of privacy required. While Castaneda wishes to work out a solution with her employer, she admitted to feeling threatened and pressured to resign.
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