HOUSTON – A mother claims a Galleria store manager kicked her out for breastfeeding her baby near their store.
Brittany Warfield said she is considering a lawsuit after the incident. Corporate public relations for the store in question, Hollister, did not return repeated messages for comment.
Warfield’s 7-month-old daughter Eden is just fine, but it is her mother who wants to cry.
“I was completely humiliated, completely humiliated,” Warfield said. “I had not done anything wrong.”
Wednesday, Warfield took her three children, sister and niece to Houston’s Galleria, their favorite shopping mall.
“It’s one-stop shopping,” Warfield said with a smile. “You have all the stores there. The atmosphere is beautiful.”
Everything was fine until they went to Hollister, Warfield said. Her baby got hungry, so Warfield sat on a bench near Hollister’s entrance to nurse. She used a jacket to cover up. Moments later, she claims a manager showed up screaming.
“He came out and he was yelling,” Warfield said. “He said, ‘You can’t do this here. This is not where you do that. You can’t do that on Hollister property. We don’t allow that.’ I said, ‘It’s Texas. I can breastfeed anywhere I like.’ He said, ‘Not at Hollister. Your stroller is blocking the way. You have to go.’”
According to the Texas health code, a mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location where she is authorized to be.
KHOU 11 News Legal Analyst and Dean of TSU Law School Professor Gerald Treece adds, there are limits though and as a rule private businesses are allowed to ask customers to leave for dress code or conduct. He likens it to the common “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policy.
Management inside Hollister’s Galleria store refused to talk on camera. The store’s corporate relations did not return repeated messages for comment. Warfield said she is waiting for an apology. “I’m so embarrassed,” she said.
However, even an apology is not enough to change how she’s feeling inside.