A Jefferson County teacher has successfully pursued a claim against the charter school Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen for allegedly firing her for expressing break milk during school hours. Heather Burgbacher was not looking for her job back, but a settlement in her claim against the public school sets precedent for other employers of working moms, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday.
Heather Burgbacher claims that her contract with the K-8 charter school was not renewed in Feb. 18, 2011, after she asked that her teaching schedule be changed to accommodate breast-milk pumping for her second child, who was 6-months old at the time. She filed a notice of intent to sue under the Colorado Nursing Mothers Act, a 2008 law protecting a woman’s right to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
The settlement announced Monday includes undisclosed monetary compensation and the commitment from the school to make policy changes related to the needs of nursing employees. There will now be a designated area for private breast pumping, and a school official has been designated to help employees coordinate their class schedules around the times they need to pump.