KFC demoted an employee for wanting to pump at work. She just won a $1.5 million lawsuit against them.

Women have been re-entering the workforce after giving birth for decades now. You would think that employers would know how to treat new moms back on the job, but apparently some people still have a lot of learning to do.

When Autumn Lampkins was hired to be an assistant manager at a Delaware Kentucky Fried Chicken just months after giving birth, she was told her new job wouldn’t interfere with her need to pump breastmilk. Instead, it did nothing but interfere.

Lampkins claimed the KFC outlet gave her a hard time for wanting (and let’s face it, needing) to pump breast milk during her working hours.

Lampkins filed a lawsuit against her former employer, stating she was demoted over it.


Now, the fast food franchise must fork over $1.5 million to their former employee.

The lawsuit claimed Lampkins’ co-workers and supervisor made it so hard for her to pump milk during her shifts that her milk supply dried up.

As a result, Lampkins experienced pain and had to switch her baby to formula sooner than she had planned. Lampkins was only able to pump once per 10-hour training shift, a far cry from medical recommendations.  Generally, women are advised to pump once every two hours.

The lawsuit also claimed that she didn’t have a private place to pump. Her options were to pump in a single-stall employee bathroom or in the manager’s office, which had a surveillance camera that they were not able to turn off. Sorry, wasn’t there a recent controversy because women were being shamed for wanting to breastfeed in public? Now we’re shaming women for wanting to pump in privacy? Is there no way to feed your baby in peace?

To make matters worse, Lampkins was demoted at the end of it all.

When Lampkins finished her assistant-manager training, she was moved to a different store and demoted to shift supervisor. “This was a demotion and not at Ms. Lampkins’ request,” says the lawsuit. “[Her boss] explicitly told Ms. Lampkins that her demotion to shift supervisor was because she was pumping breast milk while at work.”

What. The. What.

At the new store, Lampkins’ co-workers complained that she got special “breaks” so she could pump, and even threatened to walk out. As if having to pump breast milk is a privilege, not something that is a necessary part of going back to work after giving birth.

A jury deemed the work environment to be hostile, and found evidence of workplace discrimination. Lampkins was awarded $25,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. “It’s a great day for women’s rights. The jury sent a message that employers cannot treat lactating women differently in the workplace,” said Patrick Gallagher, one of Lampkins’ attorneys.

Working 10-hour shifts while tending to a newborn is hard enough.

Lampkins shouldn’t have been given a hard time for having needs that are completely normal and natural on top of it. Pumping breast milk is a vital part of the process when women re-enter the workforce after giving birth. Kudos to Lampkins for standing up for her rights!

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Travis Akers / Twitter

A tweet thread by Travis Akers, a Navy Lieutenant with 17 years of service, is going viral because it shows just how sweet children can be and also points to an overlooked issue facing military families.

In the early morning of April 12, Akers tweeted a photo of himself and his seven-year-old son Tanner who he affectionately calls "Munchie." Akers was moved because his son set his alarm clock so he could get up early enough to hand him a pocket full of Legos before work.

Tanner wanted to be sure his father had something to play with at the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida. "This was my daily morning trip to base, departing my house at six am for work," Akers told Upworthy.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less