Va. breastfeeding bill may throw businesses

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- A new law in Virginia will soon mean moms can breastfeed their babies anywhere they want.

The legislation expands the protection offered to breastfeeding mothers to include public or private buildings.

"The law's on our side now," said Jill DeLorenzo of Ashburn, who recently got into an argument with the owner of a gym while she was breastfeeding in a lobby.

DeLorenzo said the new law will make it easier to breastfeed where she wants.

"I will plan on, and I also recommend that my fellow moms, keep a copy of the new law in hand ... just in case you run into any problems," said DeLorenzo.

Governor McAuliffe has signed the legislation and it will take effect July 1, which means businesses will have to adjust.

Rebecca Geller, an attorney and mother of three, says business owners should seek guidance on the new rules and that she plans to tell her business clients how to prepare their staff for the change.

"There's nothing special that needs to be done. They just cannot be evicting somebody or saying you have to go breastfeed in a bathroom, or you have to leave this establishment," explained Geller.

There is no specific penalty for any business owner or building manager who doesn't allow women to breastfeed, but breaking the new law will open them up to a possible lawsuit.

"It might take a little bit before people really get it, but that's why we have the law," said DeLorenzo. "The law is to protect us against people who might think there's something wrong, when there really is nothing wrong."


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