EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A teacher claims she won’t be returning to the classroom this fall because she insisted on pumping breast milk while at work.
“In my heart I believe I was not renewed because I asserted my rights as a nursing mother and wasn’t willing to let it go,” said former technology teacher Heather Burgbacher.
Now, the American Civil Liberties Union intends to sue the Denver-area charter school.
The ACLU of Colorado filed a notice of claim on Monday against the Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen. That notice is the first step to filing a lawsuit against a government agency. The filing claims the school failed to renew Burgbacher’s contract because of her pumping schedule.
Burgbacher said she usually pumped during her personal free time at the school, but three times a week she arranged for another teacher to supervise her classroom during her 20-minute pumping breaks. Students were assigned desk work during those times.
Jefferson County school district spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said Burgbacher wasn’t retained because her position was changed into a technology adviser to staffers and she wasn’t a good fit.
The school district released a statement regarding the situation. It reads, in part, “She was at ‘at-will’ employee meaning she could be terminated or not renewed at any time. She was not renewed. Her job changed significantly from last year to this year.”
By law, Colorado employers are required to accommodate breastfeeding mothers.