Heather Burgbacher was fired for asserting her right to pump breast milk for her infant child while at work. Her employer, Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen (RMAE) is a Jefferson County public charter school. After five years of excellent performance evaluations, RMAE refused to renew Ms. Burgbacher’s contract because she stood up for her right to have time and a private location to express breast milk for her newborn baby at work.

The ACLU of Colorado and the national ACLU Women’s Rights Project represented Ms. Burgbacher in her legal claim against RMAE in order to vindicate her rights, and the rights of all Colorado women, to express breast milk at work if they so choose. This right is guaranteed by the Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, passed by the Colorado state legislature in 2008, as well as other state and federal anti-discrimination laws. This is the first legal challenge brought under the Nursing Mothers Act.

In a settlement resolving the litigaiton, Rocky Mountain Academy agreed to significant policy changes to ensure that nursing employees have the time and space to express breast milk at work. Ms. Burgbacher also received monetary compensation.

ACLU Press Releases:

"ACLU takes action on behalf of Jeffco teacher fired for pumping breast milk at work," ACLU News Release, August 15, 2011

"ACLU settles Colorado lawsuit," ACLU News Release, September 18, 2012


ACLU case number



Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project; Mari Newman; Rebecca Wallace, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney