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#31 of 43 Old 08-03-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sustainer View Post
If there hasn't been a Supreme Court decision declaring that store owners have the right to remove people for reasons such as the color of their eyes or the sound of their last name, then by default people have the right to have access to places of public accommodation without being harassed by the proprietor simply for being blue eyed or simply for being a mother who takes proper care of her children.

Swan3, yes, since breastfeeding is something women do, then breastfeeding discrimination definitely qualifies as sex discrimination.
Wait, what? "Colored" people didn't have the right to use "white" water fountains by default, you know.

Your statement makes no sense. You don't have a right to do something just because there hasn't been a Supreme Court decision telling you you can't.
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#32 of 43 Old 08-03-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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While we're on this topic. I went to babies r us just few weeks ago and I saw a room for mothers to nurse in but I was wondering to myself "but what if I want to nurse while shopping/browsing, will I be asked to use that room?" I mean, I know I'll get so bored sitting in that nursing room breastfeeding and I'd rather to be browsing while keeping myself busy.

I live in Virginia and I wonder about the breastfeeding in public places laws in VA. Edited to add: I just looked up and I am happy with VA's breastfeeding laws.

For others benefit: (updated March 2010) http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389#v
idk baby is getting to the age where shes easily distracted, so im glad that some stores hve the option of a quiet comfy place to nurse. although i frequently nurse in the carrier
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#33 of 43 Old 08-03-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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This is getting way off topic. I am not only a lawyer but an expert in this area. You are convinced of what you know. I see no point in arguing with you.

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Actually, people do not have the right to deprive people of the oxygen all around them. This is what you've been taught in law school? Do you think that if I sucked all the oxygen out of the room you were in and you died of asphyxiation, I wouldn't be arrested? People do not have the right to blow smoke in my face. Depriving me of the oxygen all around me or blowing smoke in my face would violate my rights.


The Constitution is not theoretical. It is the Supreme Law of the Land.


They don't.


Most states have now enacted legislation acknowledging the right to breastfeed. If store owners' rights superceded the mother's rights, a store owner could challenge the law in court and it would be overturned. That is not what the outcome of such a case would be. The legal truth is that, by default, the mother's right supercedes the store owner's right.

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#34 of 43 Old 08-03-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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NJ has a good one.

This http://www.mothering.com/sites/resources/laws.pdf is a better source for what the laws actually do, if I say so myself. The NCSL site is not as exact in its characterization and the links often go only to the state legislative home page.
Thank you mamajake!
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#35 of 43 Old 08-04-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WingonWing
Wait, what? "Colored" people didn't have the right to use "white" water fountains by default, you know.
By default? Yes they certainly did. Their legal right was only taken away when a law was passed stating that they could not use white fountains.

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I am not only a lawyer but an expert in this area.
Even different lawyers disagree over their interpretations in this area. Heck, even Supreme Court Justices disagree on some of the principles you and I have been arguing. I just want to say that I am a strong advocate of a new national law to clarify that mothers have the right to breastfeed everywhere that they would otherwise be allowed to be, regardless of how much breast/nipple shows and regardless of the age of the child. I just don't want mothers to think that, in the absence of a law stating as much, they don't have that right. It is highly unlikely that they would be arrested in any case, and even if they were, I am certain they would triumph in court, because in my opinion, the law is already on their side.

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#36 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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mamajake~ the ncsl.org link that someone linked to earlier, states


"Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002) guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child on any property owned, leased or controlled by the state. The bill also stipulates that childbirth and related medical conditions specified in the Virginia Human Rights Act include activities of lactation, including breastfeeding and expression of milk by a mother for her child. (HB 1264)"

I'm wondering if you could clarify the bolded part for me. I went here:
http://chr.vipnet.org/act.html and read the short policy. Section B states:

"B. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to:

1. Safeguard all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability, in places of public accommodation, including educational institutions and in real estate transactions; in employment; preserve the public safety, health and general welfare; and further the interests, rights and privileges of individuals within the Commonwealth; and "

So is a store or restaurant considered a "place of public accommodation"? I live in VA and like to arm myself as much as possible for when I NIP. I've never had anyone question me or confront me, but knowing my rights is always a good thing.

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#37 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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Very good question. I don't know why NCSL put that comment there since it is confusing/misleading. The bill (see the italicized sections here http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...1+ful+HB1264ER ) clarifies that lactation discrimination is pregnancy discrimination but only in the employment context. It makes no reference to altering the law regarding public accommodations.

However you are correct that pregnancy discrimination is prohibited under Virgina state law in public accommodations. Unless there is some case law in Virginia to the contrary (and I don't practice in Virginia), I would definitely argue that if the legislature intended to clarify that breastfeeding discrimination is pregnancy discrimination in employment, it must have meant that clarification to apply to public accommodations as well.

Footnote here: the U.S. Supreme Court held that pregnancy discrimination is *not* sex discrimination in a moronic opinion that was legislatively overruled in 1978 by Congress in passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. There have subsequently been equally moronic (IMHO) opinions holding that breastfeeding/lactation discrimination is *not* pregnancy discrimination because breastfeeding/lactation is not a condition related to birth.

And, yes, stores and restaurants are public accommodations. Public accommodations are private property open to the public. Each state defines it slightly different excluding and including some places but generally that is the principle.

Hope that helps and good catch! Were I discriminated against for breastfeeding in a public accommodation in Virginia, I would file a pregnancy discrimination claim.



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Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post
mamajake~ the ncsl.org link that someone linked to earlier, states


"Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002) guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child on any property owned, leased or controlled by the state. The bill also stipulates that childbirth and related medical conditions specified in the Virginia Human Rights Act include activities of lactation, including breastfeeding and expression of milk by a mother for her child. (HB 1264)"

I'm wondering if you could clarify the bolded part for me. I went here:
http://chr.vipnet.org/act.html and read the short policy. Section B states:

"B. It is the policy of the Commonwealth to:

1. Safeguard all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability, in places of public accommodation, including educational institutions and in real estate transactions; in employment; preserve the public safety, health and general welfare; and further the interests, rights and privileges of individuals within the Commonwealth; and "

So is a store or restaurant considered a "place of public accommodation"? I live in VA and like to arm myself as much as possible for when I NIP. I've never had anyone question me or confront me, but knowing my rights is always a good thing.

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#38 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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Very good question. I don't know why NCSL put that comment there since it is confusing/misleading. The bill (see the italicized sections here http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...1+ful+HB1264ER ) clarifies that lactation discrimination is pregnancy discrimination but only in the employment context. It makes no reference to altering the law regarding public accommodations.
This is interesting b/c if you go to the Human Rights Council page I linked to, there's this page: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+2.2-3901

"§ 2.2-3901. Unlawful discriminatory practice and gender discrimination defined.

Conduct that violates any Virginia or federal statute or regulation governing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability shall be an "unlawful discriminatory practice" for the purposes of this chapter.

The terms "because of sex or gender" or "on the basis of sex or gender" or terms of similar import when used in reference to discrimination in the Code and acts of the General Assembly include because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all purposes as persons not so affected but similar in their abilities or disabilities. "

and it doesn't mention employment. So I'm wondering if breastfeeding IS covered under the VAHRA. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to know the law, I'm just working things out in my head.

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#39 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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You're doing a great job. The second paragraph of the section you cite is the state equivalent of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. And, no, it doesn't mention breastfeeding but I think it is huge "duh!" because lactation is clearly a condition related to childbirth. However, federal case law held that breastfeeding/lactation is *not* related to childbirth (!!??). So since the Virginia legislature has clarified that breastfeeding discrimination is pregnancy discrimination with regard to employment in the section we discussed earlier, the same should be true with regard to public accommodations. The same term should have the same meaning. It isn't a slam dunk but I would make the argument.

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This is interesting b/c if you go to the Human Rights Council page I linked to, there's this page: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+2.2-3901

"§ 2.2-3901. Unlawful discriminatory practice and gender discrimination defined.

Conduct that violates any Virginia or federal statute or regulation governing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability shall be an "unlawful discriminatory practice" for the purposes of this chapter.

The terms "because of sex or gender" or "on the basis of sex or gender" or terms of similar import when used in reference to discrimination in the Code and acts of the General Assembly include because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all purposes as persons not so affected but similar in their abilities or disabilities. "

and it doesn't mention employment. So I'm wondering if breastfeeding IS covered under the VAHRA. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to know the law, I'm just working things out in my head.

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#40 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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I'm from the Saratoga Springs area and would be interested in any updates as well.

Great response OP! Hope the complaints are going working.

Jackie, wife to the Hubster, homeschooling mom to 4 girls: Lala (9) , Lissie (7) and Lauren (3) and our newest arrival Addie Jane born 10-1-10!
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#41 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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You're doing a great job. The second paragraph of the section you cite is the state equivalent of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. And, no, it doesn't mention breastfeeding but I think it is huge "duh!" because lactation is clearly a condition related to childbirth. However, federal case law held that breastfeeding/lactation is *not* related to childbirth (!!??). So since the Virginia legislature has clarified that breastfeeding discrimination is pregnancy discrimination with regard to employment in the section we discussed earlier, the same should be true with regard to public accommodations. The same term should have the same meaning. It isn't a slam dunk but I would make the argument.
So, if a VA mom was confronted by a store manager or restaurant owner and told stop BFing or "cover up" or else they'd be asked to leave, would it be okay for the mom to say that they were violating her rights under the VAHRA?

ETA~ I appreciate you entertaining my questions and helping me figure this out. I'm fairly confident in my reactions to those questioning me NIP, but I'd like to have things to arm thos mamas who aren't so confident.

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#42 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I love the little room at Babys R Us! My boys get so cranky when we're out and I can only nurse one at a time - I only do that when hubby's around to hold the other. So it's nice to have a dedicated room that's comfortable and secluded for me to tandem. I understand I have every right to do that in public, too, but I just can't bring myself to be able to.

Anyhow, WOO! Thanks for standing up so forcefully on the subject. I surely would've just gotten flustered!!
I *LOVE* that little room. Especially when dd2 was a preemie and it was so difficult to get her latched. I like my privacy.

OP--good kick thinking!

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#43 of 43 Old 08-06-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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So, if a VA mom was confronted by a store manager or restaurant owner and told stop BFing or "cover up" or else they'd be asked to leave, would it be okay for the mom to say that they were violating her rights under the VAHRA?

ETA~ I appreciate you entertaining my questions and helping me figure this out. I'm fairly confident in my reactions to those questioning me NIP, but I'd like to have things to arm thos mamas who aren't so confident.


No harm in saying it. The question is what should she do if the owner insists she leave. If a mom is told she is now a trespasser and the police will be called, how she responds is up to her. I always fear the trauma to mom and baby of having confrontations with police. However if she is asked to leave even after telling the owner what she believes her right to be, then filing a VAHRA complaint seems the way to go. No guarantee the claim will succeed but Virginia mothers won't know until one mother tries.

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