Witness denies claims that breastfeeding mother was mistreated


http://www.cbs46.com/story/27744235/witness-denies-claims-that-breastfeeding-mother-was-mistreated?autostart=true

A witness gave CBS46 his account of what happened in a McDonough restaurant where a woman says she was kicked out for breastfeeding.

When Stacy Hiett heard the mother’s side and the restaurant’s response reported in the original story, he said neither one gave the full picture.

“I don’t know anybody [at Logan’s Roadhouse] on a personal level. We just happened to be there eating,” Hiett said. “She came out there looking for an argument it looked like. That’s how we took it.”

After publicly complaining about her experience on Facebook and alleging that restaurant staff targeted her for nursing in public, CBS46 tracked down Trish Varner to get her story in person.

“[The manager] asked me to take my children outside. Again, I let him know that my newborn hasn’t even had her shots. I’m not going to take her out in the cold and rain. I had no car seat, no coat for her, or anything,” Varner said.

Hiett said that’s not true.

“They never asked her to leave. They never said you have to leave the restaurant,” Hiett said.

Varner maintains that the restaurant was responding to complaints from customers who were “uncomfortable.”

Hiett said, from his perspective, the issue was less about her nursing in public, and more about her occupying a table where the restaurant wanted to seat other guests.

Every table in the whole place, from where I could see, was full,” Hiett said.

Their accounts differ on that point. Hiett said there was a long wait, but Varner wrote in her original complaint on Facebook that her husband counted eight empty booths and three empty tables.

She said she left her large wedding party to take the empty booth because she wanted privacy.

“I asked if there was a place for me to feed her, and I was told, ‘No,'” Varner said.

Varner was offered a seat in the restroom, but she said didn’t like that alternative.

Bethany Walsh is a mother who read the original complaints on Facebook. She said she can relate to that part.

“I’ve been in places where I’ve had female employees as well ask me if I would take my child to the restroom to feed them, and to that I respond, ‘Do you eat your food in the restroom?'” Walsh said.

Georgia law states employers must provide a private location for employees to breastfeed, other than a toilet stall, but it makes no mention of what businesses are required to provide for customers.

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