PROVIDENCE, RI — Nearly three years ago, Elizabeth Gooding accused the Ocean Community YMCA in Westerly of gender discrimination for refusing to allow her to breastfeed her 1-year-old in the daycare area. Now, Gooding, a former part-time worker at the branch and Hopkinton mother of three, has settled her lawsuit.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island on Friday announced the settlement on her behalf.
Gooding, who sued in May, said YMCA employees told her in February 2015 — and again a month later — she couldn’t nurse in public areas at the facility.
The YMCA said it took “affirmative steps” to address Gooding’s concerns at that time. It said a private area was created for workers who want to breastfeed children.
Further details of the settlement weren’t released. The Ocean Community YMCA’s president and vice president couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.
ACLU volunteer attorney H. Jefferson Melish said in a release that the settlement was “fair to all parties and recognizes the importance of the Rhode Island Breastfeeding in Public Places statute.”
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Authored by Sophie Ryan