Sadie Durbin is suing Texas Roadhouse after a November incident at one of their Kentucky locations, WAVE 3 reports. Durbin is claiming she suffered "extreme emotional distress" after an employee reportedly tried to cover up her then-7-week-old daughter's face with a napkin while Durbin was breastfeeding.
"She was nursing for maybe five minutes when I saw the manager coming around," Durbin told TODAY.com last month: "He was walking towards me fast and shaking his head, and he had a napkin unrolled. He came up pretty close and he said, 'Ma'am, we've been getting a lot of complaints and we're going to need you to cover up.'"
After she reportedly told the employee she was "well within [her] rights to feed [her] baby,'' the manager threw the napkin on the table and "huffed off." Durbin and her busband ultimately felt so uncomfortable they left the restaurant.
In response to the alleged incident, the chain issued a statement to WAVE 3, saying:
Texas Roadhouse supports the rights of all mothers to breastfeed their children in public, including in our restaurants. Unfortunately, our employee’s handling of this situation was misguided and wrong. His offer of a napkin to cover up was not to embarrass or prevent her from nursing her child but in reaction to complaints from other guests. This is a great opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to women’s right to breastfeed in our restaurants, which we will do.
The restaurant also confirmed at the time the manager took paid time off for his handling of the situation, but that he was expected to return in the near future. Durbin remains unsatisfied with how Texas Roadhouse handled the incident.
Still, a petition urging Texas Roadhouse to apologize to Durbin and change its policy to allow breastfeeding in restaurants (which it technically does) circulated shortly after the situation went viral, and, at the time of this post, has close to 16,000 signatures. As Kentucky law currently stands, women are permitted to breastfeed in public.
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