This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Breast pump
Although nursing mothers have the right, thanks to Obamacare, to take breaks at work to pump milk in a room that's clean and private and not a bathroom, many employers don't follow that law. As a result, women are forced to pump in public restrooms or in employee break rooms that aren't private. They're denied break time, and have to stop breastfeeding altogether as a result. They face retaliation when they try to exercise their rights.

Dave Jamieson reviewed 105 complaints nursing mothers filed with the Labor Department after the passage of Obamacare. Those complaints come despite the facts that many women don't know they have the right to breaks and a place to pump, and that many salaried workers aren't covered by this law, and that it's not exactly possible to file an anonymous complaint when your boss knows which worker recently had a baby. The cases Jamieson reviewed include a McDonald's worker in Grand Island, Nebraska:

Even though she obtained a doctor's note stating she needed to express milk for her child -- at her manager's insistence -- the woman wasn't given access to a private room. The employee break room had no door or curtain to keep people from walking in on her, so she was forced into the restaurant's public bathroom.

The worker filed a complaint with the Labor Department, saying her rights as a nursing mother were being violated. Within days, a manager forbade her from pumping milk anywhere in the restaurant, according to the Labor Department investigator's findings.

The woman was forced to clock out and walk 15 minutes each way to a public library whenever she needed to pump milk. This was worse than inconvenient -- it was financially damaging. The investigator determined that the worker had lost $81.24 due to those trips to the library.

Her manager dropped her hours from 20 to 7.25 for at least one week, a schedule change the investigator deemed an "apparent retaliatory action" in response to the worker's complaints.

A call center worker in California was actually fired when she complained about not getting break time. Both those women got back pay, but it's certain that many facing similar problems—similar violations of their legal rights—are too intimidated to complain. Jamieson notes that "Some women who filed complaints actually abandoned them after realizing their bosses would have to be interviewed by investigators."

This is obviously a problem faced specifically by women who are breastfeeding, but the basic pattern applies to a lot of labor law. In short, the laws protecting workers are often ignored. Retaliation is common against workers who insist on their rights. And the penalties for employers who break the law are too low to be a very effective deterrent.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 08:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.