Unprecedented Georgia Breast Pumping Bill Presented To State Senate
• The Bert Show is the catalyst for an unprecedented new Georgia Bill requiring businesses to allow working mothers time to pump during the work day
• A Bert Show listener’s teaching job was threatened after she refused to stop breast pumping during her planning period or stay later to make up the time she spent pumping during the day
• Senator Zahra Karinshak (D-Duluth) joined The Bert Show to announce the bill, which was presented Wednesday
ATLANTA, GA & NEW YORK, NY – January 31, 2020 – The Bert Show is the catalyst for a new Georgia State Bill, SB 327 – known as the “Charlotte’s Law” bill – sponsored by Senators Zahra Karinshak (D-Duluth), Ellis Black (R-Valdosta), Donzella James (D-Atlanta), Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta), PK Martin (R- Lawrenceville), and Burt Jones (R-Jackson), and others in response to unfair breast pumping practices for working mothers. Under this bill, businesses must allow mothers who breast pump a break to pump during the work day, as well as mandating that breast pumping mothers be provided a room other than a bathroom in which to pump. The bill also addresses that employers are not allowed to discriminate against or retaliate against employees who breast pump. The bill was introduced to the Senate on Wednesday.
Georgia teacher and Bert Show listener Caitlin [last name withheld for privacy] reached out to The Bert Show in need of help. A new mother, Caitlin had previously been allowed to breast pump during her planning period. In an email, Caitlin told The Bert Show that she is able to work during this period as her pump is “hands free” but under a new male boss, Caitlin was no longer allowed to express milk during her planning period because “there was no way for him to prove that I am working because he cannot be in there to ‘make sure’ that I’m working while I pump.” After pursuing the issue with HR, her options were presented as discontinue pumping or stay after the workday to make up the work time lost pumping. Caitlin wrote that her boss then forced her hand in making a decision between the two before she left his office: “if I didn’t make the decision right now, he would consider it insubordination.”
For breastfeeding mothers, pumping during the workday is a necessity. A mother’s breast milk supply is based on infant feeding demand; expressing milk by pumping or feeding signals the body to continue making milk. By delaying her pumping session to after-hours, Caitlin noted “Over the past few months my milk supply has slowly dwindled and I struggle to pump enough milk for my baby, so staying on a strict pumping schedule and having enough time to pump is crucial to make sure he has enough milk for the next day and to ensure that my supply doesn’t drop even more.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children “exclusively breastfeed for about six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for one year or longer.” It also supports breast milk based on the “unequivocal evidence that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions,” including but not limited to, diarrhea, respiratory tract infection, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin’s disease, and childhood overweight and obesity. Maternal benefits include decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers, among others.
After hearing Caitlin’s story, The Bert Show contacted lawyer Steve Wolfe with Lagare, Attwood & Wolfe LLC, for an on-air segment to learn about her options. Once The Bert Show learned that due to the way Georgia State Law is written, Caitlin would have no right to breast pump during the day, they suggested something be done. Wolfe made contact with Senator Zahra Karinshak (D-Duluth), who authored the “Charlotte’s Law” bill. Zahra announced her involvement with the Georgia State Bill on The Bert Show last week. The bill, “Charlotte’s Law,” is named after Caitlin’s daughter.
The Bert Show is syndicated by Westwood One. For syndication information, please contact Todd Alan at 212-735-1107 or TAlan@westwoodone.com.
About The Bert Show
The Bert Show is a syndicated morning radio show that offers a blend of lifestyle advice, national entertainment news, celebrity interviews, humor and on-air community to listeners for 18+ years. The program’s success lies in its lack of formula and the openness of the cast members to share the most intimate and vulnerable details of their lives. Since its inception, The Bert Show has grown considerably, expanding to encompass 25 markets. An estimated one million people tune in each week from 6a.m. to 10 a.m. EST. In addition, the show gives back to the community through numerous charitable events and programs, including Bert’s Big Adventure. Bert’s Big Adventure is a nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.
About Westwood One
Westwood One, the national-facing arm of CUMULUS MEDIA, offers iconic, nationally syndicated sports, news and entertainment content to over 250 million monthly listeners across an audio network of nearly 8,000 affiliated broadcast radio stations and media partners. Westwood One is the largest audio network in America, home to premium content that defines the culture, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, Westwood One Backstage, and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The rapidly growing Westwood One Podcast Network delivers popular network and industry personalities and programs. Westwood One connects listeners with their passions through programs and platforms that have everyone listening. For more information please visit www.westwoodone.com.
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