A 28-year-old waitress from Seal Beach, California, said a manager at the restaurant where she works has denied her the right to pump breast milk while on the job because he deemed the act ‘disgusting.’
Kristen Joseph, a single mother of a six-month-old son, Wrigley, has worked at Hennessey's Tavern in Seal Beach for three years.
Since the birth of her child, Joseph said she would take a 10-minute break once a day to pump breast milk in the privacy of a manager’s office, the station KTLA reported.
Barred: Kristen Joseph, pictured here with her son, Wrigley, claims that her manager refused to let her pump breast milk on the job because he deemed it 'disgusting'
Workplace: Joseph would usually take a 10-minute break from her job as a waitress in Hennessey's Tavern in Seal Beach to express milk
‘If I don't pump, then my breasts are very engorged and they hurt and they leak,’ Joseph explained.
But on Monday, the on-duty manager refused to give the young mother the keys to his office, saying that pumping breast milk anywhere in the restaurant, even in the restroom, is ‘disgusting’ because ‘people eat there.’
‘He said he didn’t want me to spray all over his office. I was just appalled at what he had to say,’ Joseph told CBS.
The 28-year-old server said her boss told her she could leave, but she still had some work left to do and decided to stay on duty, at which point her breast milk started leaking through her shirt.
Joseph says if she doesn't use the pump, right, her breasts become engorged and start leaking, which is what happened when she was barred from expressing milk on the job
Confrontation: Joseph says an on-duty manager refused to give her the keys to his office because he was afraid she would spray milk everywhere
Federal law requires any business employing 50 or more people to set aside an area -- other than a bathroom -- for women to express breast milk. It also allows women to nurse their children anywhere, at any time, in any public place.
Hennessey's is a chain with 10 locations in Southern California and Las Vegas.
Joseph called her general manager to complain about the incident, but still has not heard back. She has since contacted Hennessey's corporate offices and was told the company is looking into the allegations.
A spokesperson for Hennessey's told the Daily Mail in a phone interview on Thursday that it is a company-wide policy to provide a safe and secure environment for all their working mothers to expel milk.
Mothers' rights: Federal law requires any employer with 50 or more workers to set aside a private area for women to pump breast milk
‘We believe this to be a misunderstanding about where this space was provided for her,’ the spokesperson said in reference to Ms Joseph.
Since Joseph lodged a complaint with the corporate offices, the company has launched a full-scale investigation into the 'miscommunication' between the manager and the server, according to the Hennessey's representative.
The 28-year-old waitress said she wants to use this opportunity to raise awareness of the rights of women in general and mothers in particular.
‘It’s just unfair,’ Joseph said. ‘This is 2012, and it’s not time to discriminate against women anymore.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192788/Waitress-says-boss-BANNED-pumping-breast-milk-work-disgusting-spray-everywhere.html#ixzz24UG6vNFC