Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ikea employee insults breastfeeding mother

Here is what happened.

Brea Rehder says she was at the Ottawa Ikea store on Monday and asked about the price of an item she was purchasing.

The cashier went to get another employee who could help. That employee, she said, finished a long conversation with a colleague before making her way to where Rehder, her two children and a friend were waiting.

By then her nine-month-old daughter had begun to fuss, so she started to breast feed her in the store. (Ikea officially has a breastfeeding friendly store policy.)

Then the manager came over. "She came over to me and I asked her my question and immediately she said, 'When you’re done being disgusting, we can discuss this. But in the meantime, take it to the bathroom because you’re holding up the line,'" Rehder quoted the manager as saying.

"But the only reason I was holding up the line was because I was waiting for her."

After she paid for her items and left, Rehder went to the company’s Facebook page to complain about the incident.

"I have never been more insulted in my life," Rehder wrote on Facebook, adding that not only will she reconsider shopping at Ikea in the future, and that says she is also mulling a harassment suit.

Ikea has since apologized to Rehder and says the company is attempting to track down the manager who was involved in the incident.

To do what? Admonish them over an incident that has triggered a store boycott from every woman who has ever breastfed a child in public (and any people who are sympathetic to their cause, myself included).

I should hope this manager gets fired on the spot and I hereby encouraging everyone who reads this to boycott Ikea until they fire the manager for overstepping their bounds and ignoring Ikea's company policy.

Large corporations have company policies for a reason. It is to prevent boycotts, lawsuits and other problems that could hurt the company financially. When an incident like this happens the appropriate thing to do is to ask the employee to resign. If they refuse, more drastic action may be needed such as a demotion or outright firing them.

In this case I am in support of outright firing the manager. Kick them to the curb for ignoring the company policy and drawing a possible lawsuit.

Until Ikea fires the manager in question I am going to leave this post up unchanged and if I ever mention Ikea in future blog posts I will also mention the boycott. If they do fire the employee I will add an "Update" section with the date showing that they have fired the manager, and Ikea can sit safely that our boycott has ended.

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