Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I have one awesome dude by my side. (or what I just received in my inbox)

So after I was harassed at Costco for breastfeeding I spoke on the phone with the Manager of the warehouse where it happened. During that phone call I was told that the Regional Manager would call me the next week to follow up. This never happened. 

So I sent both of these men an email asking them to make some changes in their policy so this would stop happening to breastfeeding families in Costco warehouses (this is the 2nd time it has happened to our family). I have still not received a response....7 weeks later. Over this last weekend I was talking to my partner Dave about how they haven't responded and he agreed that it has been a long time. 

Then today I received this in my inbox. Its not from Costco but I still appreciate the response. I feel so grateful to have such a supportive person by my side. 

  

Hello Chad,
I am concerned by your lack of response to my wife's email that she sent you nearly 7 weeks ago. She expressed her discomfort about the resolution offered by you following our family's harassment by your assistant manager for breastfeeding in the Ogden warehouse. While you told her that you do not instruct employees to actively confront breastfeeding families in your warehouse, you offered no assurance that employees would be educated to ensure that we would not be harassed again at your location for breastfeeding. She then made the very reasonable suggestion that Costco implement a program to properly train employees on ways to support and respect breastfeeding families in their warehouses, and asked that you continue the discussion with her.

I do not understand why you were unable/unwilling to respond to my wife's email. Quite frankly, this lack of respect adds to my dissatisfaction as a Coscto member who has been harassed multiple times in warehouse locations for our family's decision to breastfeed our children. The email she sent to you on October 16th has been included at the bottom of this message. At this time, I would hope that you take the time to read and properly respond to her suggestions, and improve my impression of the way Costco values its members.
Sincerely,
David Love



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Angelina Love <redacted>
Date: Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Breastfeeding Harassment Resolution
To: redacted <redacted>
Cc: redacted redacted<redacted>, redacted>, redacted>, Angelina Love <redacted>


Thank you redacted for responding to my email of Sept. 30th. I appreciate that you addressed the issue with your assistant manager and apologized for the way our family was treated in your warehouse. 

I wanted to follow up with you and redacted, the Regional Vice President with whom you have been speaking about this matter because we have been unable to agree on an appropriate resolution to my family's repeated experiences of harassment by Costco employees for breastfeeding. 

Costco is lacking any sort of written policy or employee training that guides employees on how to respect breastfeeding within the warehouses. Breastfeeding families shopping in Costco are being put in the position of being humiliated and harassed due to your employees' ignorance, and are being subjected to unfounded medical advice. This is neither good for those members, nor the health of the community at large. Allowing this to continue would seem to contradict Costco's strong values of "... unwavering commitment to doing the right thing for our members, our employees, our suppliers and our communities."  and Costco's "...commit[ment] to making a positive contribution to the health of our communities." *

The United States Surgeon General Issued a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding** in 2011, which detailed the many ways in which breastfeeding contributes to our national health, and how the extremely unsupportive climate we live in deters from it. The Call to Action specifically addressed employers and business owners. It described the ways in which employers could contribute to the overall health of their communities by supporting breastfeeding in their establishments both for breastfeeding employees and patrons. 

One thing that is often unclear to people in general is the idea that breastfeeding can and should be modified to suit the interests of an outside party. This was certainly the case in our latest encounter with your employee redacted Despite the fact that we were among the last shoppers in the warehouse, she maintained that segregating our family was the best approach to our breastfeeding and also gave me the rather illogical directive of somehow breastfeeding without uncovering my breasts. A physiological impossibility. She disallowed me from meeting my children's needs and it was inappropriate of her to try and set some sort of standard over the breastfeeding relationship that I share with my children. She is not a medical authority, and obviously has no training in lactation. Allowing your employees to give such poor medical advice should be something Costco works to avoid. Something everyone could avoid if employees were trained not to interfere with breastfeeding.

I have contacted Best for Babes about the mistreatment our family has experienced multiple times while shopping in your warehouses. Best for Babes is a national organization dedicated to overcoming the barriers to breastfeeding, and has offered support during this difficult process in order to create positive change. 

They can offer Costco their customized licensed proprietary Employee Training Toolkit for Breastfeeding Customers to educate Costco's employees about breastfeeding and train them to be sensitive to the needs of breastfeeding children, ensuring legal, non-prejudicial, and compassionate treatment of breastfeeding customers. Contacts with Best for Babes have been cc'd in this email and are prepared to work with you directly to resolve this problem. 

As a member of Costco, and a concerned mother I trust you will restore my confidence in your commitment to doing the right thing and implement a policy with employee training so that every child is entitled to their right breastfeed within Costco Warehouses. Please respond to this email within 10 business days. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Angelina Love


Angelina Love
redacted
redacted


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