Sadie Durbin was nursing her 7-week-old daughter while visiting a Louisville Texas Roadhouse recently when a manager went over to her and asked her to cover up.
“David Mitchell, a manager at the Texas Roadhouse on Shelbyville Road, brought me a napkin and tried lying it over my 7-week-old nursing infant’s face as he explained that he had another patron complain and that he really needed me to cover up,” Durbin wrote in a Facebook post that went viral.
“I politely explained to him it is against the law for him to ask me to cover up and that I was well within my rights to feed my baby,” Durbin continued.
According to Kentucky state law (pdf), a mother can breastfeed her baby in any location, whether public or private, and the act isn’t considered an act of public indecency or indecent exposure. In addition, a municipality cannot enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a mother breastfeeding a child. Another aspect of the act states, “No person shall interfere with a mother breastfeeding her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is authorized to be.”
The manager threw down the napkin and “angrily walked away,” Durbin said. However, he reappeared after Durbin asked her server who the complaining patrons were.
“He finally came back to our table, threw his hands up and said angrily ‘I’m not at liberty to tell you that. Listen lady, I’ve done nothing wrong,'” she wrote.
She told WDRB that she found the whole situation disheartening. “It’s sad to me that, in 2018, there is not more education to employees, that this man, who is clearly in his 50s, didn’t know he was breaking the law,” Durbin said.
In a statement, the restaurant said it “supports the rights of all mothers to breastfeed their children in public, including in our restaurants.”
“Unfortunately, our manager’s handling of this situation was misguided and wrong,” it added.
A representative for Texas Roadhouse said the manager was told to take paid time off but he won’t be fired.
We sincerely apologize to Mrs. Durbin and all nursing mothers for how this situation was handled. We would like to…
In a Facebook post, the Texas Roadhouse Louisville managing partner Jeff White said that they sincerely apologized to Durbin and all nursing mothers for how the situation was handled.
The restaurant asked La Leche League of Louisville to visit the restaurant and educate staff members on “the struggles facing nursing mothers.”
“As we discussed, we will use this incident to educate our employees to the rights of nursing mothers as part of our commitment to a providing a welcoming and family-friendly dining experience for everyone,” White said.