Teacher from Jeffco got $40,000 settlement in breast-feeding case
A Jefferson County charter school settled an out-of-court claim for $40,000 with a teacher who says she was fired for pumping breast milk at work.
Former K-8 technology instructor Heather Burgbacher filed an intent to sue Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen after she was informed in spring 2011 that her contract would not be renewed at the end of the term.
The ACLU of Colorado assisted filing the claim under the Colorado Nursing Mothers Act, a 2008 law protecting a woman’s right to continue breast-feeding after returning to work.
According to the terms of the settlement reached Sept. 14, RMAE must pay $13,333 to the ACLU of Colorado for attorney’s fees, and $26,667 to Burgbacher.
“I am so satisfied with the steps that have been taken towards bringing awareness to accommodations for nursing mothers,” Burgbacher said last week.
RMAE will also change school policies that, as Burgbacher said, previously forced nursing mothers to choose between returning to work and taking care of their children.
Among the procedural adjustments, RMAE will provide a private room for nursing mothers to express breast milk, designate a Human Resources employee to coordinate nursing schedules, and supply written notice to employees of their right’s under the Nursing Mother’s Act.
“I felt this was important because there are so many women who would be afraid to do it — or they don’t know that they can do it, or don’t know that there are laws in place to protect them,” Burgbacher said.