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Is it legal to breastfeed in public, or in a privately owned store? The answer to that question will depend on a number of factors, including your state's breastfeeding, indecent exposure, and public accommodation laws.
Take, for example, an incident at a Victoria's Secret store in Texas earlier this month, when an employee refused to allow a customer to breastfeed in a fitting room, Austin's KTBC-TV reports.
The customer's ordeal highlights the ongoing national debate over public breastfeeding and confusion about the current legal status of breastfeeding in public. Here's how a variety of laws can come into play:
In states with no public breastfeeding law on the books, nursing mothers are usually at the mercy of private business owners and local law enforcement. Fortunately, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are at least 45 states with laws that protect a woman's right to breastfeed in public.
Because the contours of public breastfeeding laws vary, you may want to consult a local civil rights attorney to learn about the current status of the law in your area. For specific questions about breastfeeding at work, consult an experienced employment law attorney near you.
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