LEWISTON – A Maine woman says she feels discriminated against by a Lewiston restaurant. She says it happened while she was breast feeding at Ramada’s Fusion restaurant over the weekend.
Katie Sampson tells us why the mother calls the experience “embarrassing”.
“i was floored, I was humiliated” Stephanie Whitmore was breastfeeding her 7-month old son hunter, When she says a waitress approached her; Asking her to be more discrete.
“Think you should turn your chair so that your back is to the restaurant“,
“I was like, no, I’m like, why would i do that?”
An employee told us some people in the restaurant were uncomfortable. “If there are complaints, they should tell their guests if that’s the stand they want to take anyway, how about you just not look at her?”
Attorney David Webbert says the Maine human rights act protects Whitmore in this situation. “If you’re somewhere where you’re okay to be, you have an absolute right to breastfeed”
He says the law also prohibits anyone from interfering or intimidating someone exercising those rights. “So anybody who messes with somebody who’s trying to breastfeed by saying anything negative, is violating the Maine human rights act”
The assistant general manager of the hotel is taking statements from all employees involved. “The wait staff that this happened to, she was completely floored, she couldn’t believe that she upset a woman so badly because she asked her to turn her chair”
Employee Natasha Christl joined more than a dozen others at the restaurant today to show support for Whitmore. “Breasts are made to feed our babies, they’re not for pornographic material which society has made, and that’s why everybody makes such a big deal out of it”