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NYPD Police Officers Announcing Class Action Pumping Claims
NYPD Discriminates Against ‘Nursing Mothers’: EEOC Class Charge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York Civil Rights Lawyer Eric Sanders, Esq., of The Sanders Firm, P.C., announces NYPD Police Officers Simone Teagle, Theresa M. Mahon, Melissa Soto-Germosen, Viviana Ayende and Elizabeth Ortiz Files an EEOC Class Charge of Discrimination Regarding A ‘Nursing Mothers’ Right to ‘Express Milk’

NEW YORK, February 4, 2019 – Today, after more than eleven years of the NYPD failing to accommodate nursing mothers with ‘reasonable’ break times and a proper location to ‘express milk’ NYPD Police Officers Simone Teagle, Theresa M. Mahon, Melissa Soto-Germosen, Viviana Ayende and Elizabeth Ortiz files a Class Charge of Discrimination with the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, prelude to a federal civil rights lawsuit.

According to the charge, Charging Parties Simone Teagle, Theresa M. Mahon, Melissa Soto-Germosen, Viviana Ayende and Elizabeth Ortiz files this class charge on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated nursing mothers appointed to the Police Department City of New York (“NYPD”) who claim that since August 15, 2007, Respondent THE CITY OF NEW YORK through its agents MICHAEL RUBENS BLOOMBERG (Former Mayor); BILL de BLASIO; MARTHA H. HIRST (Former Commissioner – Department of Citywide Administrative Services); EDNA WELLS HANDY (Former Commissioner – Department of Citywide Administrative Services); STACEY CUMBERBATH (Former Commissioner – Department of Citywide Administrative Services); LISETTE CAMILO (Commissioner – Department of Citywide Administrative Services); RAYMOND WALTER KELLY (Former Commissioner – Police Department City of New York); WILLIAM JOSEPH BRATTON (Former Commissioner – Police Department City of New York) and JAMES PATRICK O’NEILL (Commissioner – Police Department City of New York) and their 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.

The Charging Parties claim 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 the Charging Parties.

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 charge.

The Charging Parties claim that under New York State Labor Law Section 206-c guarantees nursing mothers break time to pump breast milk at work.

According to the charge, 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.

The Charging Parties claim 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 NYPD Patrol Guide or other employee handbook or notifying the individual female employees in writing.

Since August 15, 2007, the Charging Parties claim that they and other similarly situated female employees who are nursing mothers have to express milk in-front of other female employees, have to pump in a female bathroom, have to pump in the female locker room, have to pump in department vehicles, have to pump in other department facilities, have to pump in their personal vehicles, have to pump in bathrooms throughout the neighborhood, or cease to pump.

Charging Parties claim that as nursing mothers appointed to the NYPD their supervisors and co-workers subjected them to jeers, sarcastic comments, ostracization, ridicule, supervisors subjected them to extra scrutiny, extra burdens to document and prove their personal breaks, etc.

Charging Parties asserts their supervisors and co-workers subjected them to this harassment because of their statuses as nursing mothers.

Charging Parties claim that they experienced severe engorgement, Mastitis, Emotional Distress and/or cessation of their milk supply.

“These brave women are to be commended for asserting the legal rights of nursing mothers in the workplace. For more than eleven years, the NYPD totally disregarded the law, ignoring the physiological and psychological needs of nursing mothers. Fortunately, the legislators decided it’s good public policy to protect the legal rights of nursing mothers in the workplace and we intend to hold the parties responsible for completely disregarding them,” says lawyer Eric Sanders.

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 rightscivil service rightscriminal 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.

CONTACT

Eric Sanders, Esq.
President and Owner, The Sanders Firm, P.C.
Business Phone: 212-652-2782

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