FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., announces Former Auto Mechanic Vanessa Feeley files federal complaint against the FDNY for allegedly refusing to accommodate her legal right to ‘Express Milk’
NEW YORK, April 10, 2020 – Today, more than a year after being chided for ‘expressing milk’ former FDNY Auto Mechanic Vanessa Feeley files a federal civil rights lawsuit.
According to the federal complaint, Ms. Feeley files this class charge on behalf of herself and all similarly situated nursing mothers appointed to the Fire Department City of New York (“FDNY”) who claim that since August 15, 2007, The City of New York through its agents have engaged in a pattern, practice and policy of failing and refusing to provide nursing mothers with reasonable break times and a proper location to express milk.
Feeley alleges that under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, known as the “Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” See 29 U.S.C. 207(r), says Teagle.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the FLSA requirement of break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk does not preempt State Laws that provide greater protections to employees (for example, providing compensated break time, providing break time for exempt employees, or providing break time beyond 1 year after the child’s birth), according to the claim.
Feeley alleges that under New York State Labor Law Section 206-c guarantees nursing mothers break time to pump breast milk at work.
According to the complaint, the City of New York as an employer is required but, is not in compliance with the Affordable Care Act or New York State Labor Law Section 206-c.
Feeley claims that the City of New York as an employer is required but, DOES NOT inform female employees who are nursing mothers returning to work following the birth of a child about their right to take unpaid leave for pumping breast milk by placing a public poster in the workplace, promulgate a policy within the employee handbook or notifying the individual female employees in writing.
Feeley alleges that while assigned to the Fleet Services Division, since July 23, 2018, the City of New York through its agents have failed and refused to provide her and other similarly situated female employees who are nursing mothers with a proper location to express milk she has experienced severe engorgement, Mastitis, Emotional Distress and cessation of her milk supply.
On numerous occasions, Feeley alleges that the City of New York through its agents refusal to provide her and other similarly situated female employees who are nursing mothers with a proper location to express milk she has to express milk in-front of male and female employees, she has to pump in a female bathroom, and she has to pump in the female locker room.
“Unfortunately, since August 15, 2007, despite the FDNY’S public declarations promoting diversity and inclusion, it remains an androcentric culture, says Eric Sanders.”
“With the filing of these legal claims, Ms. Feeley raises her voice on behalf of herself and many other silent voices of nursing mothers whose statutory rights to express milk are disregarded.”
Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C. filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Docket No.: 20 cv 1770, on April 10, 2020.
ABOUT THE SANDERS FIRM, P.C.
The Sanders Firm, P.C. offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. We are your voice for justice!
Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782