DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A mother is filing a complaint with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office after she says she was told she could not breast feed at the job center.
2 NEWS Reporter Jordan Bowen talked with the Montgomery County Chief Deputy Rob Streck today about the incident. He did not want to go on camera, but he said the Sheriff’s deputy told the woman there had been complaints about her breastfeeding, and asked if she’d be more comfortable going somewhere else.
The interaction between mother Alainna Nichols and the Sheriff’s deputy happened inside the lobby of the Montgomery County job center.
“I started breastfeeding the baby cause he was hungry,” Nichols said. “The sheriff yells at me from across the room and says you can’t do that here. He says you got to cover that up or take it to the bathroom.”
It was not the reaction she expected.
“I was just kind of shocked for a minute because I’ve never had anybody tell me that I can’t breast feed before,” Nichols said. “I breastfeed all the time. It’s my third son. I breastfed all three of my children. I was kind of shaken and upset.”
According to the family’s complaint, Nichols asked the deputy if it was a rule for this particular building that she couldn’t breast feed… and he replied ‘yes.’ That’s when Nichols boyfriend Jonathan Nilson came back to find out what happened.
“When I popped around the corner and realized it was a Sheriff and not a security guard I was quite surprised that the whole ignorance of the law thing was the main problem here,” Nilson said. “I assumed a sheriff would probably know the laws as far as breastfeeding was concerned.”
2 NEWS checked, and according to Ohio law, “A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted”.
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, mothers are allowed to breastfeed in government buildings unless it’s posted otherwise.