MERLIN, Ore. — A woman is speaking out against her employer, saying she had to quit her job because her work did not let her take a break, to pump.
Leslie Newton recently took a job at the Lil’ Pantry in Merlin. She says she explained during her interview that she was nursing and would need breaks to pump milk. But on her first day, she was only allowed to step away once during the 9-hour shift.
“I just told them I needed to go pump if that was okay because my chest was rock solid. I was literally in tears the last two hours of my shift,” Newton said.
Oregon State Law requires employers provide at least a 30-minute unpaid break and two ten-minute paid breaks for nursing moms working eight hours or more.
While that policy isn’t written in their handbook, Lil’ Pantry spokespeople say they follow it enthusiastically.
“We understand that that is something that may come up abruptly, and we have no problem accommodating them whatsoever,” said HR Manager Leigh Graves.
Graves says, in this case, Newton failed to speak up. But Newton disagrees.
After confiding in a group for nursing moms on Facebook, she says her experience isn’t a first.
“All these moms just started getting on there and exploding,” said Newton. “They were saying it’s already hard enough to have a job while breast feeding a child.”
While Newton says she and her husband don’t need the money, she wonders what happens to those moms out there who do.
“What about the moms that really have to work?” said Newton. “How do they do it?”