The ACLU of Colorado and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project filed suit on behalf of Ashley Provino, a Grand Junction woman who was fired from her job, in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, for asserting her right to pump breast milk at work.

Provino, a new mother, requested permission from her employer, Big League Haircuts, to take a short break every four hours in the back room of the hair salon to express breast milk, as is her right under state and federal law.  The company denied Provino’s request and cut her hours dramatically.  When Provino requested to be returned to a full-time schedule with breaks so she could pump breast milk and continue breastfeeding her child, she was fired.

Colorado’s Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, passed by the state legislature in 2008, unequivocally recognizes the societal and health benefits of breastfeeding and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations to allow new mothers to express milk at work.

The ACLU complaint invokes the 2008 statute, as well as federal laws that require workplace accommodations for nursing mothers and prohibit sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation for protesting such discrimination.

Update: A favorable settlement provided for policy changes to accommodate nursing mothers as well as monetary compensation for Ms. Provino.

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Rebecca Wallace, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney; Paula Greisen; Kimberly J. Jones; Lenora M. Lapidus and Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project