the right to breastfeed

20 Sep

A settlement was reached Wednesday in the case of a Colorado teacher who claims her contract was terminated in 2011 because she took breaks from the school day to breast-pump for her newborn daughter.  Colorado is one of 24 states with laws that specifically support the rights of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.  (The right to breast-pump at work is now federally protected for one year after the birth of a child under the Affordable Care Act.)

“In the complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ms. [Heather] Burgbacher and the ACLU alleged that the school at which she worked for five years didn’t renew her contract because she insisted on taking the time to produce milk at work for her newborn baby. She claims she was told that her termination wasn’t over job performance, but the conflict of her schedule of pumping, which amounted to 20 minutes three times a week. She said a supervisor told her to feed her baby formula instead,” writes the Wall Street Journal.  Not surprisingly, the school district claimed otherwise, but contends the settlement was reached to allow it to “focus on students.”

Burgbacher has since found other employment.



2 Responses to “the right to breastfeed”

  1. brittanyposey22 September 21, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    This is ridiculous! Doesn’t her supervisor realize that if you go without pumping, your breast become engorged? My really good friend had a baby and when she stopped breast feeding this happened to her. Her breasts became hard as rocks and hurt really bad! I’m really furious that he told her to use formula! That’s not his decision! I don’t see why she could have been rightfully terminated if the pumping did not interfere with her job performance.

  2. karaleesmith September 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I am appalled! Breastfeeding is more healthy for the baby and the mother, so for him to add his two cents about how she should use formula makes me sick. I do not understand how the school could even think her request was unreasonable. She was trying to be a mother as well as work (which is hard already).

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