By Jon Hyman
Mar. 19, 2014
Both of my children were formula-fed. It wasn’t for lack of lactation effort. We (or, more accurately, she) tried to feed each naturally. My daughter’s birth followed 72 hours of awful labor, from which we were not sure my wife was going to make it (that’s a story for another day), and my son just did not want to eat. So for reasons that made perfect sense to us, we fed both exclusively by formula. The “lactation specialists” at the hospitals were not happy with us, and they let us know all about it. What they failed to do, however, was talk to us. It was a one-sided conversation, which failed.
Nationwide’s lactation policy allowed employees to gain badge access to its lactation rooms after completing certain paperwork that required three days processing. Even though Ames had not completed the required paperwork, the company nurse requested for her immediate access to a lactation room. While the company was processing the request, the nurse suggested that Ames use one of the company’s wellness room, which would become available in 15 or 20 minutes. In tears, Ames quit her job and sued.
Ames was denied immediate access to a lactation room only because she had not completed the paperwork to gain badge access. Every nursing mother was required to complete the same paperwork and was subjected to the same three-day waiting period. Further, Hallberg [the nurse] tried to accommodate Ames by allowing her to use a wellness room as soon as it was available and by requesting that Ames receive expedited access to the lactation rooms.… That Nationwide’s policies treated all nursing mothers and loss-mitigation specialists alike demonstrates that Nationwide did not intend to force Ames to resign when it sought to enforce its policies.
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