breastfeeding mom

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California Pizza Kitchen Apologizes For Breastfeeding Incident At Partridge Creek Restaurant

July 23, 2018 - 2:48 pm
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CLINTON TWP. (WWJ) - A Macomb County restaurant has apologized to a woman who was asked by workers to cover up while breastfeeding her infant son.

California Pizza Kitchen at the Mall at Partridge Creek has issued an apology to Ashlie Hanel, saying the restaurant welcomes breastfeeding mothers.

According to a report by WXYZ-TV, Hanel said she was eating at the Clinton Township restaurant July 13 when the manager asked her to cover herself with a napkin or towel while nursing her 7-month-old.

The mom told reporters she decided to leave the restaurant immediately and "heard some people snickering, including other employees at the restaurant."

In a statement posted the pizza chain's main Facebook page, California Pizza Kitchen made it clear that breastfeeding is allowed in its restaurants. 

"CPK adamantly supports women's right to breastfeed, anywhere, anytime. The upsetting experience this guest and her family experienced in our Partridge Creek restaurant was unacceptable, wrong and in violation of our policy. Breastfeeding is permitted, protected and welcomed in our restaurants. We have reached out to the guest to express our deepest apology, and we are taking immediate action to ensure this never happens again. This includes immediate retraining of our management team and staff at this location. We will also take steps to ensure that our employees nationwide thoroughly understand our policies on this very important right. "

Over the last two weeks, patrons have been posting  negative reviews of the Patridge Creek location, referencing the incident. 

JR Raymond commented: "My wife breastfed in public many times and if anyone would have shamed her it would not have gone well for them. We support the moms. Get your crap together Cpk," while Jessica Schmidt wrote: "Manager needs to be FIRED for harassing that woman for feeding her baby! Not retrained! I’ll never step foot in this establishment!"

Kia Mireya Dominguez added simply: "Shaming a breastfeeding mother? 1 star."

A few commenting on Facebook, however, defended CPK, including Nancy Senechal who gave the restarant a 5 star review, stating: "Great food and atomosphere...despite all these nasty one sided comments I will continue to patronize your restaurant."

It's important to note that public reastfeeding is protected under Michigan law. 

In 2014 Gov. Rick Snyder signed an anti-discrimination act, which protects nursing mothers and gives them the right to openly breastfeed in any place that is open to the general public -- including in restaurants, stores, parks and churches and on city buses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.