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ACLU Settles Breastfeeding Teacher Case

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Heather Burgbacher (credit: CBS)

Heather Burgbacher (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union has settled a discrimination complaint filed against a Jefferson County charter school under the Colorado Nursing Mothers Act.

The ACLU announced the confidential financial settlement Tuesday.

Heather Burgbacher filed her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year after the Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen decided not to renew her contract after she had worked there for five years.

“When it first occurred I was devastated completely,” Burgbacher said. “My entire world was turned upside-down for something that I believed so much in.”

Burgbacher alleged that the school failed to provide a private place for her to pump breast milk or someone to cover her classes during three, 20 minute periods a week she needed to express milk at work.

Academy spokeswoman Kelli Anderson says the school has policies to accommodate nursing mothers and says Burgbacher’s non-renewal had nothing to do with breastfeeding.

“We had a place for her to breastfeed, she had time away from her classroom, we did everything by the law to offer her what was necessary,” Anderson said. “We accommodated Heather to the best of our abilities and the EEOC found no probable cause when they investigated this last call.”

The district says it decided to settle so it can focus on the students. Burgbacher says the settlement is a win for all working mothers.

“I think it will impact the district, the state, hopefully the nation,” she said.

The financial settlement is confidential. The Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen says it has always abided by the law and will continue to do so.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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