The syndicated show was the catalyst for new Georgia State Bill SB 327 – known as the “Charlotte’s Law” bill – in response to unfair breast pumping practices for working mothers. Under the 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 states 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, saying that she had previously been allowed to breast pump during her planning period. Caitlin told the 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’s boss then forced her to decide between the two before she left his office: “If I didn’t make the decision right now, he would consider it insubordination.”
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 is named after Caitlin’s daughter.