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New Jersey Governor’s Wife Allegedly Refused To Accommodate Breastfeeding Officer

Four female New Jersey State Police troopers have filed a lawsuit against the State Police for gender discrimination. In one incident, Claire Krauchuk alleges Tammy Murphy, the First Lady of New Jersey, refused to allow her to use the family's carriage house to pump breast milk during breaks in her 12-hour shift. A State Police doctor had given Krauchuk clearance; she needed three breaks and adequate facilities to pump. Krauchuk alleges the trailer where she had been stationed to monitor security was “filthy and had never been professionally cleaned.” The complaint says Murphy told the trooper's supervisor that pumping was "not encouraged because of optics by guests who may be on the premises" when asked if Krauchuk could pump there. Krauchuk further alleges the State Police removed her from the executive detail the next day, just her second day of work after returning from maternity leave. They accused her of failing to obey an order, using her personal vehicle as transportation to her job, and "being late to work because she was breast pumping,"  Krauchuk alleges her removal from the executive detail was retaliatory.

Murphy has made infant and maternal health her primary cause as First Lady of New Jersey. She has pushed for free nurse visits and expanded access to doulas during labor, all intended to improve the pregnancy-related death rates in the state. The First Lady declined to comment on the lawsuit; she is not a named defendant. The female state troopers also allege that the State Police exhibit preferential treatment toward male troopers when making coveted assignments to travel with the Governor and his family. The State Police asserts that having all male troopers on those details reduces costs because they can room together. The women counter that other choices to accommodate male troopers cost more money, and the discrimination against women damages their career prospects.