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ACT NO. 117

(S.156)

Public accommodations; breastfeeding

This act states that the general assembly finds that breastfeeding a child is an important, basic and natural act of nurture that should be encouraged in the interest of enhancing maternal, child and family health, and amends the discrimination laws to provide that a mother may breastfeed her child in any place of public accommodation in which the mother and child would otherwise have a legal right to be.

A person aggrieved by a violation of this provision may file a charge of discrimination with the human rights commission or may bring an action for injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, or any other appropriate relief in superior court. A public accommodation that violates this provision may be subject to a criminal penalty of a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

The act directs the human rights commission to develop and distribute materials that provide information regarding a woman’s legal right to breastfeed her child in a place of public accommodation. Special attention is to be given to notifying public accommodation membership organizations. The commission is directed to issue to the House and Senate committees on judiciary a brief summary of the actions taken by the commission pursuant to this act by January 15, 2003.

Effective Date: The provision of the act granting a woman the right to breastfeed in a place of public accommodation takes effect on March 15, 2003. The legislative findings and provisions regarding the educational effort by the commission took effect upon passage; May 28, 2002.