Reddit | Momochichi, Facebook

New Mom Wins $1.5 Million KFC Lawsuit After Demotion For Breast Pumping

Although new moms who have to juggle working and nursing now have some laws on their side, it's still not uncommon to get unfortunate reminders on how little some people understanding breast pumping.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusively feeding new babies with breastmilk for their first six months to give them the best start to life.

But moms who pump for this purpose need to do so regularly to keep their supplies reliable.

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

Unfortunately, despite the impression she got from her employers, one new mom only experienced a hostile work environment when she tried to meet her child's needs.

Before she was hired as an assistant manager at a Camden, Delaware KFC, Autumn Lampkins made her employers aware that she would need to breastfeed.

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

As Delaware Online reported, she was told that this wouldn't be a problem, but that statement didn't reflect the workplace environment she would soon experience.

In fact, Lampkins found it nearly impossible to secure time to pump during her 10-hour shifts.

Reddit | Momochichi

Lampkins understood that it's best to pump every two hours, but her court documents stated that she could only do it once per shift.

Not only that, but the space she was given to pump in also left a lot to be desired.

Reddit | Autumn Lampkins

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers need 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 how it specifically excludes bathrooms from the list of appropriate places?

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

Besides being an uncomfortable place to pump, it's also not the most sanitary option when you're talking about pumping milk meant to be given to a baby with a new immune system.

However, a single-stall bathroom was exactly where she was told to do it.

Reddit | Autumn Lampkins

Her breast pump location was later changed to the manager's office, but this didn't fit the legal standards required of employers either.

The surveillance camera couldn't be turned off, breaking the "shielded from view" rule.

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

Also, other employees had constant access to the room, resulting in Lampkins being walked in on multiple times while she was pumping. Which just isn't right.

Unfortunately, Lampkins' troubles at KFC were about to get worse.

Reddit | rigatoniundertaker

By the time she finished her management training, she had a new district manager named Emily Martin.

As Delaware Online reported, Martin could have transferred her to a store in Smyrna as an assistant manager, but instead chose a KFC in Dover as a shift supervisor.

If that sounds like a step down, it is.

As the lawsuit stated, "This was a demotion and not at Ms. Lampkins’ request. Emily Martin explicitly told Ms. Lampkins that her demotion to shift supervisor was because she was pumping breastmilk while at work."

While in Dover, other employees complained about breaks she would take to pump and threatened to walk out.


This was never addressed by management, but Lampkins also had limited opportunities to pump at this location.

After so long with limited pumping time, the worst began to happen.


Lumpkins' breastmilk supply reportedly dried up. This means that she had to give her son formula sooner than is medically recommended.

On Monday, a jury decided in her favor.

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

They found that she had indeed experienced discrimination as a working mother, and that the hostile work environment made it next to impossible to privately pump.

The jury clearly felt strongly about the issue, judging by their verdict.

Facebook | Autumn Lampkins

According to another article from Delaware Online, this led them to award her $25,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages.

However, even this victory comes with its own challenges.

Reddit | Radiobrainz

This is because that according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there's a $300,000 cap on compensatory and punitive damages against employers with more than 500 workers.

For this reason, she may not end up with the total sum of what she was awarded.

h/t: Delaware Online

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