NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York state trooper is taking a stand against the department, alleging lack of respect for female employees and unfair treatment of pregnant women.
“I’m having a little girl, and how does it look for me as a mother if I’m not fighting for her rights as a woman,” New York State Police Trooper Schashuna Whyte told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
With her third child on the way, Whyte says she’s putting her foot down, filing a discrimination complaint against the New York State Police.
Whyte joined the department in 2016 and was pregnant with her second child a year later.
“I learned of the fact that we don’t have maternity leave at that time. I was in shock,” she said.
She was also shocked to find there was no time allotted in her 12-hour shift to pump her breastmilk and no set place to do it. She’d pump in the locker room, her patrol car or sometimes not at all.
“If you don’t get to pump a certain amount of times per day, of course, it reduces your production of milk, it hurts,” Whyte said.
She says that needs to change, along with the months-long wait to transfer pregnant women from patrol to desk duty.
“Of course, this is very dangerous,” Whyte said. “For a state trooper rides alone a lot of the times.”
State police denied an on-camera interview but told CBS2 the complaint is being reviewed and released the following statement:READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
“The State Police is aware of Trooper Whyte’s complaint and it is being reviewed. All of our policies are in compliance with the requirements under state law. We take all complaints seriously and any issues that are revealed will be handled appropriately.”
Attorney Eric Sanders represents Whyte and a group of NYPD officers who filed a similar suit in 2019.
“It’s laughable,” he said. “Show me one facility within each troop that’s in compliance with the law.”
He says since the suit was filed in 2019, the NYPD has installed some pumping pods and the case is in settlement discussions.
“What would you want the outcome of this to be?” DeAngelis asked Whyte.
“I just want them to consider us as far as the health and safety of the mother and the child … not let women be afraid to start a family,” Whyte said.
Whyte is now on desk duty here in the city but says her request to be reassigned closer to home on Long Island due to her high-risk pregnancy was denied.
The state police says any issues revealed will be handled appropriately.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
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