New Hampshire Breastfeeding Case Before the State Supreme Court
Katherine Frederick was fired over 7 years ago from her job as a child support officer in the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the reason for her termination was that she has exhausted her leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and failed to return to work. Frederick filed a wrongful discharge case against the Department back in 2014 according to reporting from boston.com.
So why is this a breastfeeding case? Well, Frederick gave birth to a son and was breastfeeding at home. Fredrick has been a fierce advocate for breastfeeding rights for women in New Hampshire. She currently lives in Strafford, Vermont and attends school at Vermont Law School and is working on obtaining her masters in restorative justice. Frederick hopes to attend law school after she receives her degree.
Gov. Chris Sununu’s recently enacted a policy that allows state employees to take their infant child to work and allows for some flexibility with schedules for breastfeeding mothers to either breastfeed and/or express milk. This would have allowed Katherine Frederick the time she needed, and she could have returned to her job if that was the policy at the time of her termination. Frederick told boston.com that the opportunity was not afforded to her and boston.com quotes her “They told me at the time, ‘Nope.’” Both sides have made their arguments before the court and we will see if it goes to trial or is dismissed.