Applebees restaurant manager calls cops on breast-feeding mother

Applebees restaurant manager calls cops on breast-feeding mother

A Douglasville mother is calling for changes at a major chain restaurant after she was kicked out of one of their locations for breastfeeding.

Dawn Holland said that on Saturday afternoon, she was nursing her 20-month-son, Connor, in a booth in the back of an Applebee's restaurant. Holland said that a manager approached her and said she "was being inappropriate" and asked her to breast-feed in the bathroom.

"I told her that I had a right to breast-feed in public and a bathroom was not an appropriate place to nurse a child. And she told me I could either go to the bathroom or leave," said Holland.

Holland said she asked the manager to look up the law, and the manager called police.

Civil rights attorney Laurie Rashidi said that the law states that "a woman with child has the right to breast-feed any place that she is lawfully allowed to be."

Applebee's Communications issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "We're in the business of welcoming guests to our restaurants and our top priority is always to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone, including nursing mothers who have the right to nurse in public. This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we hope the guest will give us another chance to demonstrate that to her personally."

Holland, whose husband is a medevac pilot in Afghanistan, said that she has not personally heard from the company. She said that she would like to see Applebee's institute civil rights training for its staff.

Authorities did not write an incident report because they said it was a civil matter.

By Lena Sullivan 09/19/2012 08:02:00

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