- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

BORDENTOWN, N.J. (AP) - More than a dozen women - some breast-feeding - gathered Sunday outside a New Jersey hotel to protest the firing of a receptionist who said she was let go because her employer wouldn’t accommodate breaks to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter.

Ariana Gossard, 21, had been on maternity leave from the Hampton Inn Bordentown after giving birth in May. She said she planned to return to work this month but was told her position does not allow for breaks so she could pump milk. She said was fired after she was told there were no other positions at the hospital for her that would accommodate the breaks, the single mother told NJ.com (https://bit.ly/1JlBW46 ).

The owner of the hotel wasn’t available to comment Sunday.

Alison Gary, the mother of a 1-year-old, organized the protest after reading Gossard’s story on Facebook.

“It’s really a shame,” Gary said. “She is entitled by her rights to pump and the Hampton Inn is breaking the law.”

Employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express milk” for her child for up to a year after birth each time the employee “has need to express the milk,” according to U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division law.

Nicole Bucci was one of the women who attended the protest and sat under the sun breast-feeding her 1-year-old son, holding a sign that read: “Let her pump! Justice 4 Ariana.”

“Breast-feeding is so important,” Bucci said. “Employees have the right to pump and if they don’t pump, it’s going to make breast-feeding a whole lot harder.”

Gossard, who attended the gathering, said she’s happy with the support she has received.


Information from: NJ.com, https://www.nj.com

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