Monday, August 31, 2009

My complaint email to Totes/Isotoner customer affairs

Here is what I wrote to complain to Totes/Isotoner. It's not Shakespeare but I think
that any short email in each person's own words will help make an impression. I'll let you know what I hear back from them.

When I get the corporate address I plan to mail my favorite Isotoner
socks back to the CEO.


Dear Totes/Isotoner,

I have bought your products for as long as I can remember; gloves,
socks, slippers, umbrellas. I am sorry to tell you that I can no
longer buy your products now that I have learned about the Totes/
Isotoner firing of a breastfeeding employee. I know this happened
several years ago, but of course the news of the Ohio Supreme Court
decision has brought it to the attention of the blogosphere and
motherhood and anti-discrimination action groups. The discussion
boards I participate in have been absolutely on fire with outrage over
your action, and we are watching for your response.

Who do you think buys your products? I am sure it's women and mothers
buying for their whole families. You owe all of us an apology, you
owe LaNisa Allen a job, and you owe all your employees better
treatment. Wouldn't it be easier to make reasonable accommodations
for nursing mothers, rather than firing them? In addition to being
the right thing to do, of course!

Please send me the corporate contact information for your CEO, so that
I may register my concern directly and request a reply.

Signed, a former customer,

Amy Tiemann

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Blogger jacksonsmommy said...

I also sent a letter. Very short. This is what it said. "I am deeply offended by your corporate action in terminating LaNisa Allen for taking breaks to pump milk.
I will no longer purchase your products, will actively discourage others to do so, and I will support any boycott of your company."

I was surprised to recieve a response the next day. This is the email. "
Thank you for your note and concerns regarding the Ohio Supreme Court
Ruling regarding the termination of a temporary employee.

As a matter of policy, totes»ISOTONER is not able to provide specific
information surrounding the employment circumstances of any employee.
What we can share is that based on the circumstances involved with this
specific temporary employee, the totes»ISOTONER employment decision has
been supported by the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, the Ohio
Court of Appeals for the 12th District and the Ohio Supreme Court. And
while we cannot specifically address the Ohio Supreme Court Ruling, we
can share several of our workplace practices:

· totes»ISOTONER absolutely supports employees, whether full-time,
part-time, or temporary, who are also nursing mothers.

· totes»ISOTONER does provide time for nursing mothers to pump
their breast milk and many employees have taken advantage of this
accommodation. In the case presented to the Supreme Court, we did
provide this accommodation.

· totes»ISOTONER is a company committed to supporting our
employees. Because females account for approximately 70% of our work
force, we are very attuned to and supportive of the needs of working

Again, thank you for your note and expressing your views on this issue.
We take great pride in our culture of being a family oriented company,
and can only indicate there were other factors involved in this
particular situation which led to the company’s decision in this case.
We appreciate your having been a customer in the past and hope you will
reconsider your decision in this regard going forward.


Vickie Fightmaster
Human Resources Manager"

It sounds like this employee may have been abusing her rights. I don't know, but I was glad to get a response.

12:54 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I received the same letter. It's frustrating not to have more facts on the case. I am not able to go look up the depositions myself to read direct testimony of what happened. But in other news coverage it sounded like LaNisa Allen had asked her supervisor for a pumping break and been denied. She went to the bathroom to pump anyway and was then fired on grounds of insubordination.

I'll let you know if I find out more detailed facts.

1:07 PM  
Blogger james said...

I read the article in the WSJ today about the Ohio Supreme Court supporting Isotoner in their dismissal of the mom. I am very disappointed. My wife pumped at work for a whole year for each of our two children. Breast milk is the best thing for babies. Everyone needs to boycott Isotoner until they change their policies, hire the lady back and apologize to the all of their other employees and their consumers. Just plain bad business and citizenship.

2:51 PM  

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