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Fired during lactation probe, Wawa worker returns

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in Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

A Bethlehem Wawa convenience store violated the Fair Labor Stand­­ards Act (FLSA) when it refused to provide an appropriate place for an employee to express breast milk, according to investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The Affordable Care Act health care reform law amended the FLSA to require employers to accommodate mothers who need to pump breast milk.

Wawa allegedly fired the woman in the midst of the WHD investigation. As a result, she lost health coverage for herself and her 7-month-old child, who has serious health ­problems.

To settle the matter, the employer reinstated the woman, paid her $4,900 in back wages and agreed to reinstate her health insurance ­benefits.

Note: Employers are required to provide employees with a private place to express breast milk during work hours. The space cannot be a restroom.

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