Ex-KFC employee Autumn Lampkins, 27, has finally settled her lawsuit against her local KFC branch following them denying her the right to pump breastmilk on the premises. After proving job conditions amounted to gender discrimination, the franchise has been ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in punitive damages and $25,000 in compensatory damages.
This is quite a significant pay out, however when you delve into the case it is clear KFC were questionable in their actions. Lampkins joined the KFC branch in 2014 as an assistant manager, shortly after giving birth to a son. She was told during her interview that she would be allowed to pump breast milk as required but once she started this did not transpire.
Due to being forced to work 10 hour training sessions with only one break she couldn’t pump her breastmilk as often as advised by medical staff, ultimately leading to her milk supply drying up.
In addition, she was forced by senior members at the franchise to pump in the manager’s office, where a security camera was present that she was old could not be switched off. Once training had completed, Lampkins was unexplainably demoted but later it was revealed to be the result of other colleagues complaining about her ‘milk pumping breaks’.
It appears there were multiple opportunities for KFC to right this wrong but they chose not too, and whether you agree with the size of the payout or not, this is certainly a clear case of inequality in the workplace.