This June, the bank received ‘Gold Status’ from the Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Project, joining an elite set of businesses across the country that are taking a pledge to create safe, welcoming environments for breastfeeding mothers and their children.
Administered in the state of Vermont through the Vermont Department of Health, Breastfeeding Friendly businesses apply for inclusion on statewide resource lists and receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Double-Gold ranking, based on a rating system that measures ‘breastfeeding friendliness.’
BS&L was able to achieve Gold Status by demonstrating that the bank:
· Does not tolerate discrimination against breastfeeding mothers
· Trains employees on this policy along with existing breastfeeding laws
· Provides a clean, private and comfortable location other than a bathroom for their employees to pump, as well as time for employees to pump
· Provides a clean, private, comfortable place for mothers to breastfeed in their business, and
· Provides a place for their employees to store breast milk.
BS&L also put a “nursing mothers in the workplace” policy into effect, which formally provides these and other benefits to mothers upon their return to work and for three years thereafter. Fathers can also take advantage of the policy, by providing their partner with a place to breastfeed or pump for instance, among other benefits.
Brandie Starr, Executive Assistant to the CEO, and Michele Coursen, Human Resource Manager at BS&L lead the initiative at the bank and said they are pleased to see so many businesses, especially those with a customer service component, taking steps to both provide and tout breastfeeding sensitivity.
“While we are of course thrilled to receive the Gold-level award, the knowledge that our employees with young families feel supported in their choice to breastfeed is most important to us,” said Starr. “We’re also proud that so many other local businesses are willing to step up and do the same for their employees.”
The breastfeeding-friendly workplace movement is active around the world, and supported by various non-profit and government bodies across the U.S. Businesses that participate receive a certificate based on their level of breastfeeding friendliness and a window cling to display; currently, employers in 13 Vermont counties have received certification, including 32 individual businesses in Brattleboro. For more information, visit healthvermont.gov.
About Brattleboro Savings & Loan
BSL was founded in 1912, and today serves the greater Brattleboro and area as its only community bank. Community-owned, BSL specializes in personal banking, mortgage lending, commercial lending, and commercial banking; brattbank.com • Equal Housing Lender • Member FDIC