My employer does not want to provide lactation periods/lactation stations. What is our recourse as breastfeeding and working mothers?I have several posts on the rights of breastfeeding mothers who work, how to ask for a lactation policy, what an ideal lactation room looks like, etc. etc. To read my various posts about breastfeeding, rights and work, click HERE.
My office is currently working on getting the Mother-Baby Friendly Certification - more on that in a separate post. I'm lucky to have a supportive employer who supported our efforts resulting in the establishment of a lactation policy and lactation room.
However, I understand that not all employers are as accommodating as my employer. In fact, I have been receiving reports of employers who violate the law by adding just 10 minutes to the 2-sets of 15 minutes break time.
The provision of lactation periods and lactation rooms is part of labor standards. I called DOLE to determine where to report violations. I spoke with Ms. Cecil Brillantes of the Bureau of Workers with Special Conditions who informed me that the best first step is to call the DOLE field office where your office is located. Refer to the numbers posted below.
While you can write a formal letter of complaint to DOLE about your employer, Ms. Bustamante does not recommend it as a first step. You would want to preserve the good relations with your employer. A gentle reminder from DOLE may just be the ticket for them to act on your request for a lactation period/room. Of course, before you even call DOLE, make sure that you have already brought your concerns with your HR and made your representations. See my template here to jumpstart your request.
If you are able to use the procedures outlined here, be sure to leave a comment so we can further help fellow breastfeeding and working mothers