It never fails to amaze me how companies manage to get themselves into hot water for failing to follow the law regarding breastfeeding in public or in the workplace! Here are just a few of the most recent incidents.
Acosta Tacos: The owner of Acosta Tacos in Los Angeles, California has been ordered to pay Marina Chavez $21,645.00 in lost wages plus $20,000.00 for emotional damages after the owner fired Chavez for breastfeeding her baby on her breaks. In this groundbreaking case, the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission found that breastfeeding is intrinsic to the female sex and thus breastfeeding discrimination is sex discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The owner was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, establish a written policy on sex discrimination, and post a notice regarding the company’s FEHA violation.
Olive Garden: In Michigan City, Indiana, Maggie Naas was asked to move to the restroom to breastfeed her baby because, according to that Olive Garden restaurant’s manager, she was not being modest enough.
Chick-Fil-A: Thirty breastfeeding women staged a nurse-in at a Florida Chick-Fil-A after a mother was asked to cover her nursing baby with a towel. The mother attempted to contact the local and corporate management and apparently received no response. (One of my favorite pictures from the nurse-in shows the Chick-Fil-A mascot, a cow, looking on as a woman nurses. There’s a joke in there somewhere!)