Walmart Employee complains of breastfeeding backlash

Published: Sep. 26, 2013 at 3:23 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2013 at 3:23 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Webster Parish mother says she is being harassed at work for pumping breast milk.

Shelby Ward works at the Walmart location in Springhill, and she says she has filed a complaint with the corporation for a lack of accommodations and harassment dealing with her attempts to pump breast milk while at work.

"You don't go eat in the bathroom, so why should my child go eat in the bathroom," says Ward.

Ward says for weeks she pumped her breast milk in the bathroom before she was told it was okay for her to pump in the store fitting room. She says once she did start using the fitting rooms, that's when she says the harassment began.

"This is gross, your disgusting, and you shouldn't be able to use our fitting rooms," says Ward.

Ward says other employees continually harass her when she tries to use the fitting rooms in privacy, and when she told the store managers she says those complaints fell on deaf ears.

"I explain everything that happens, and when the next time I go in there they are telling me that I never talked to them, or they don't remember this conversation," says Ward.

Ward says last week she filed a formal complaint with Walmart's corporate office. She says she has not heard back yet, but decided to speak up for other employees who may feel bullied for just trying to take care of what's most important.

"I am not the only woman at Walmart nursing their child, and I don't want it to be this difficult for them," says Ward.

Walmart did release this statement:

"We have been working with our associate to help ensure she has a private and comfortable area in the store to tend to her needs.We spoke with our associate on Monday to ensure those needs were being met and will continue to work with her to make all reasonable accommodations for her."

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