Health

Lawyer Told She Can't Take Breaks To Pump Milk For 5-Month-Old Baby

| by Jonathan Constante

A working mom in Miami was shocked when a county judge told her she could not take a 15 minute break every three hours to pump breast milk her 5-month-old baby girl.

Marissa Glatzer was getting ready for a DUI trial last week. She had recently returned back to work as an assistant public defender after giving birth to her daughter, Hannah, CBS Miami reported.

“It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of pressure,” Glatzer told the news station.

But the stress presumably reached new heights after an encounter with County Court Criminal Judge Fred Seraphin.

The mother told the judge that she would need occasional breaks to pump breast milk for her newborn baby.

“I have to pump every three hours and I’m trying the case,” Glatzer told Judge Seraphin, according to a recording.

“So I guess you’ll find somebody to cover for you?” Judge Seraphin responded.

“No,” Glatzer replied.

“No? Well I’m not going to take a break just because you need to pump,” said the judge.

Glatzer couldn’t believe it.

“Here I am at work, trying to keep working be a working mother and just provide food for my child and I’m being told that’s not important enough of a concern,” she told CBS Miami.

The judge would go on to tell Glatzer to put another lawyer on the case. He then dismissed her and said he would see her tomorrow.

“I’m a trial attorney, that is my job and to say I can’t be a trial attorney and represent my client to the best of my ability simply because I need to take a 15 minute break every few hours,” Glatzer said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Katie Phang, secretary of Miami-Dade's Chapter of the Florida Association of Woman Lawyers, told CBS Miami that not allowing mothers to take breaks to pump is discriminatory.

“It is discriminatory because it’s specific to a woman, and even more so, it’s specific to a working mom,” she explained. “These are things that Mother Nature dictates, outside of control of a judge, outside of the control of the mom, and we need to be able to accommodate working moms to these kinds of demands.”

The issue got the attention of Administrative Judge Sam Slom. He called for a meeting with Glatzer and Judge Seraphin and the mother said she got an apology from the judge.

Glatzer now hopes that other women in the courthouse will be allowed to pump without any issues.

“I’d like to think there was a lesson learned,” Glatzer said.

Sources: CBS Miami, Palm Beach Post

Photo Credit: Glatzer Family via CBS Miami, David Precious/Flickr