Mother On Jury Duty Forced To Pump Breast Milk Next To Urinal
Mar 22, 2017 05:03 PM EDT
Amanda Chandler, a mother from Hennepin County, Minnesota, was recently summoned for jury duty at her county courthouse. The primary caregiver of her two-year-old breastfed daughter was denied of reasonable time and adequate space to pump her breast milk while on jury duty.
The 40-year-old mother was initially told that the court would allow her to pump to express her breast milk during her service and reimburse her for non-licensed child care. "When I had called the jury office, they had assured me that my needs for pumping as a nursing mother would definitely be met," Chandler said.
She was led to a "quiet room" to express her breast milk on the first day and things went really well. But things weren't quite the same as Chandler was placed on a jury panel on the second day.
"I wasn't allowed any personal break," Chandler told Global News. She was not allowed to pump her breast milk during the morning session, and in the afternoon, after pleading with the judge and clerk, Chandler was led to a small dingy-looking unisex bathroom.
She was then asked to pump next to the urinal. Chandler who needed to pump her breast milk at least four times a day, was only able to do it twice right next to a urinal.
Chandler posted her frustration on Facebook and was noticed by the Hennepin County Government Center. Hennepin County explained that District Court originally provides a quiet room on the 24th floor designed for nursing mothers to pump breast milk, which features a sink, a chair, and a locking door. "Through a miscommunication, which we regret, a jury panelist was not originally advised of the availability of this room," the statement continues.
Chandler hopes that through the sharing of her experience at the courthouse, much awareness of the difficulties nursing mothers face will rise, according to Above The Law. She has filed a formal complaint and is currently awaiting reply from the Hennepin County Court Administrator.