MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- In an Eyewitness News exclusive, more police officer moms are joining a lawsuit against the NYPD, calling attention to what they call an "alarming disregard for nursing mothers."
Five NYPD officers have come forward to claim that their department has not done enough to provide protection for pumping breast milk, after hearing Simon Teagle speak about her experience with Eyewitness News last October.
Teagle's story, about her lawsuit against the NYPD for not providing a clean, private space to pump, has provided comfort in numbers. Now, these five officers have filed a joint EEOC complaint stating that the NYPD is in violation of state law.
With a two and a half year old daughter and newborn twins, Officer Viviana Ayende produced an extremely high volume of milk.
"They never advised me of my rights, " says Ayende. "I pumped on my mealtime. I never thought I could ask for breaks. I thought this would be a problem."
The 41-year-old officer didn't even know she had the right to complain, until she saw Teagle last fall on Eyewitness News.
These officers are claiming that when they returned from maternity leave they had no clean space to pump, often times having to expose themselves in public dirty locker rooms.
"I knew there would be other women, but I didn't think it was this," said Teagle.
The NYPD released the following statement:
"The NYPD is committed to providing its employees with appropriate accommodations to express breast milk privately, comfortably, and in close proximity to work. The new policy was developed in 2018. The bulletin has been posted on the electronic boards, the web page and the intranet since then. It was reissued as an administrative bulletin. All new precincts being built will have a private room for employees to express breast milk. With respect to existing precincts, as the bulletin instructs, there must be a private room or an office identified that is not a bathroom, and which can provide an employee with the requisite privacy for them to be able to express breast milk. Furthermore, the NYPD is currently exploring additional locations at 1PP for employees to express breast milk."