Woman Believes She Was Fired Because She Was Harassing Her Boss About Needing To Pump

Woman fired because she was harassing the Human Resources department for a proper place for her to pump milk besides the bathroom.


Indianapolis mother, Katrina Culhane, was on maternity leave after giving birth to her son. She returned to work in July 2018 under the impression that her work knew that she would be pumping. They knew that she would need a place to pump her milk and she thought this was understood by her employer. She worked for Indiana BMV in the central office downtown Indianapolis. Her employer knew that she was breastfeeding and she would want to continue with her milk supply.

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Culhane was convinced that she thought that since she worked for the state that they would have some sort of plan for her, but they didn't. They didn't have any plans for her and she had to start pumping in the bathroom. They told her that she could also pump in a different location that was in a different department a couple of floors above, or she would have to schedule for time for one of the conference rooms. Her bosses would always get upset when she would reserve a conference room and have to rearrange their schedules for her and so she kept on having to pump in the bathroom.


Culhane kept bringing the problem to human relations, because they were supposed to have a place for her to pump that wasn't the bathroom. She could tell that they were getting really upset that she kept "harassing" them about the situation, but she was getting frustrated that they were not resolving the situation. "I worked hard for them. They treated me like dirt. They made me feel like crap. I just want to go pump," Culhane said. "It was stressful. Every single day... it was so stressful." The state law requires that employers provide their employees with paid breaks to pump, a room to pump (other than a toilet stall) and provide a refrigerator to keep the cold milk. The BMV didn't do any of these things for Culhane.

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Ultimately, Culhane was fired from the BMV. RTV6 reached out to the BMV to get a response to this situation. A spokesperson said Culhane was fired for violating the state's workplace harassment prevention policy. The spokesperson then told RTV6 that there is a designated pumping room on floor 6 that she had access to pump in during her scheduled breaks. Culhane denies for harassing anybody and she said she was fired for complaining to HR about her lack of pumping resources.

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