We've heard many stories about breastfeeding mothers being discriminated against by businesses. But now an employee from Starbucks is being praised for defending a mother who was nursing at the coffee house.
A mother in Ottawa, Canada, was scolded by a customer for nursing her baby in Starbucks. But a male barista came to her rescue, and now the coffee giant saying he did the right thing.
Louisa Girotto, director of public affairs at Starbucks Canada, tells Yahoo Shine on Wednesday, “We want everyone who comes to our stores to enjoy their visit and to be treated with dignity and respect. We were very pleased with the customer service our partner offered the woman who was breastfeeding, and I will reach out to him directly.”
The story recently went viral after blogger Annie Urban shared it on her Facebook page for her blog, PhD in Parenting. As of Tuesday she had almost 28,000 likes and 1,800 shares.
In June, Julia Wykes was nursing her 5-month old son when a customer complained.
Wykes says, "She said in a very loud voice, I was obviously meant to hear, 'Could you get that woman to stop doing that in public? It is disgusting,'" The teenage barista, named Alex Kim, told the customer he would ‘take care of it."
But Kim smiled and apologized to the mother on behalf of the customer, then offered her a free refill along with a voucher for a free drink. The complaining customer quickly left the store.
Wykes says, "To have a young man be more kind and informed than a middle-aged woman who may have had children herself was a shock. And while it may be a huge multinational company, I am glad that such a positive experience occurred in a Starbucks, it shows that they employ good people."
According to a statement on the government agency website Ontario Human Rights Commission, women have “the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to ‘cover up,’ disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more ‘discreet.’”