Breastfeeding in Public and The Law

gingerpixel_photography__newborn_photography_1_15952What laws protect breastfeeding mothers and how do they work?

The Equal Status Act (2000) protects people from discrimination and
harassment (including sexual harassment) in the use of and access to a wide
range of services including shops and restaurants. Protection for mothers
breastfeeding in public is provided under two of the nine discriminatory
grounds covered by the Act:

The Gender and Family Status grounds
This Act helps mothers to breastfeed comfortably in public places by
protecting them from being discriminated against or harassed because they
are breastfeeding. (Discrimination is less favourable treatment, for example,
asking someone to leave a premises because they are breastfeeding.)

The Intoxicating Liquor Act (2003) - Section 19 protects against
discrimination occurring in a public house and provides access to
the District Court for redress. Harassment is unwanted conduct (of a
sexual nature in the case of sexual harassment) related to any of the
discriminatory grounds covered by the Equal Status Act which has
the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an
intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for
the person, in this case a breastfeeding mother.

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