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$1.5 million awarded for employment law violation re mother

From deciding which car seat to buy to weighing different preschool options, being a mother in Georgia is hard. Motherhood can be further complicated by unsupportive and even discriminatory workplaces. An out-of-state mother who accused her former employer of violating employment law recently won her lawsuit and was awarded more than $1.5 million in damages.

In 2014, KFC hired the mother of an infant to work as an assistant manager in one of its locations. She was initially told that her position would not interfere with her need to pump milk for her child. However, after being hired she was immediately scheduled for multiple training sessions that lasted upwards of 10 hours. During these sessions she was only given one break despite a doctor's recommendation take pumping breaks after every couple of hours.

After she completed her training she was apparently able to pump more frequently, but was forced to do so in a restroom at the restaurant. The location was then changed to the manager's office, but she complained that this room had a security camera that could not be turned off. Soon after she received a demotion and was the victim of frequent harassment and complaints from her co-workers who viewed her breaks to pump milk as unfair. Still unable to pump as frequently as she needed to, she says she suffered significant pain and had to being formula feeding her baby instead.

A jury agreed that there had been a violation of employment law and awarded the woman $25,000 for compensatory damages, as well as an additional $1.5 million for punitive damages. Georgia victims of workplace discrimination also have the option to bring a civil lawsuit against their current or former employers. Not only can they potentially achieve necessary compensation through successfully pursued claims, but they can also help effect change that protects future workers.

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