By Charlotte Huffman
BORDENTOWN, N.J., (CBS) — Like many new moms who nurse their babies, Ariana Gossard was feeling slightly nervous about heading back to work while still needing to pump her breast milk.READ MORE: Fired-Up Sixers Fans Pack Wells Fargo Center For Home Opener
“I thought to myself it was going to be a little bit of an issue but I never imagined it would become this big of an issue,” said Gossard while holding her infant daughter, Anaira.
With her maternity leave ending soon, Gossard decided to meet with managers at the Hampton Inn in Bordentown where she worked, to discuss her new schedule.
During that meeting, Gossard says she informed the hotel’s general manager and assistant manager that she would need 2-3 breaks of 15 minutes each during her eight hour shift in order to pump.
“My general manager said, ‘You can just pump before you come to work and you’ll be alright.’ I said ‘No, I can’t go a whole 8 hours without pumping.'”
Federal law requires employers give nursing moms reasonable break times to pump for a year after a child’s birth.
Gossard says she explained that not pumping for 8 hours would cause pain and health problems. Regardless, she says management told her that her front desk position does not allow such breaks.
“I was flexible …. And I told them I was willing to work whatever shift they gave me because I need a job,” she said.
Gossard says she even offered to move from her position at the front desk to housekeeping if needed.
“I’ve been there for two years. I’ve been a loyal employee, taken extra shifts when needed and I thought they’d work with me, it was only two little breaks I was asking for.”
Gossard says she fully understood that she would not be paid for the 15 minute pump breaks and says she has always worked through her lunch break.
When Gossard did not hear back from management, she sent the general manager a text message to inquire about which shift she could expect to work upon her return.READ MORE: Student Shoots Himself In Leg Inside West Philadelphia School With Metal Detectors, Police Say
“No jobs open at this time,” he texted back.
Gossard responded informing the General Manager that the hotel’s actions are illegal.
“Have a good day,” the general manager replied.
“I feel I’ve been discriminated against. Women had to fight to work and women have had to fight for so many things and now in 2015 we are fighting to pump and work at the same time,” said Gossard.
The Hampton Inn in Bordentown is a franchise owned by Rising Sun Hotels of New Jersey, LLC.
When calls to the company were not returned, the I-Team went to the Hampton Inn for answers.
“Im going to ask you to leave the property, right now please,” said the hotel’s General Manager.
“Are you familiar with the fed law that requires you to give breastfeeding moms a reasonable break time?” Investigative Reporter Charlotte Huffman asked the General Manager who walked away without answering.
Gossard, now a single, unemployed mom says nobody will stand in her way of providing for her daughter.
“I’ve been online looking for jobs, fixing up my resume. I’ve got to work and I’m going to work. I have this little girl to take care of,” said Gossard.
The I-Team also reached out to the owner of Rising Sun Hotels of New Jersey and has not yet heard back.MORE NEWS: Man Shot, Killed Inside West Philadelphia Corner Store, Police Say