Colorado Rights Blog

ACLU of Colorado By: ACLU of Colorado 6.6.2014

DISH’s new accommodations for nursing mothers send the right message

When I became pregnant with my son in 2010, I had no idea what parenthood had in store for me or how my little guy would enrich my life.  I did however know that there was one thing that I wanted to provide my son that only I could: breast milk.  With the encouragement of my family, friends, and former employer, I was able to provide my son with the benefit of having breast milk while I was away at work.  I consider myself lucky to have had the network of support to tackle one of motherhood’s greatest challenges.

Sadly, there are many nursing mothers across the country that do not receive the adequate support from their employers to continue breastfeeding their babies once they return from maternity leave.  Only a few months ago, nursing mothers at DISH Network were being forced to pump in front of their co-workers, pump in bathrooms, or unable to pump on a schedule that best suited their need to maintain an ample milk supply for their babies.

Federal and state laws require employers to provide nursing mothers with an appropriate and comfortable place to pump, “that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.”[1]  However, some companies have been slow or even resistant to implementing these kind changes that help support nursing mothers in the workplace.  Nursing mothers shouldn’t have to worry about having a safe, clean and private space to pump their milk, or worry about exposing themselves in front of their co-workers while they pump, regardless if those co-workers are male colleagues or other nursing mothers.

Fortunately, organizations like the ACLU of Colorado have worked successfully to defend the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace and have educated both employers and their employees about what rights are afforded to nursing mothers.  Since the ACLU of Colorado requested that DISH implement accommodations that were more in compliance with the law, there has been a remarkable change to the lactation rooms provided to their nursing mothers.  Now, DISH offers stylish yet tranquil lactation rooms at two of their facilities in Colorado that accommodate multiple employees to privately pump at once, so that they have the peace of mind of providing milk to the babies in safe and comfortable environment.  When DISH decided to revamp their lactation rooms, it did more than provide the bare minimum of what the law required from them as an employer.  I believe that DISH’s efforts sends the right message to their nursing mothers that they are valued and appreciated for not only for what attributes they bring to boardroom, but also for their commitment to maintain a healthy work-life balance for their families.

I hope that other employers of nursing mothers and women who may elect to breastfeed

their future children can learn from the example set by DISH.  Employers must realize that there are many benefits from accommodating nursing mothers in the workplace, such as reducing heath care costs and improving employee productivity, benefits that the Colorado legislature recognized when passing the Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act (WANMA) in 2008.  I want to thank DISH Network for taking the much needed action to provide their nursing mothers the accommodations they deserve under the state and federal laws and for taking the extra step of creating spaces that are both inviting and functional, which can only boost the morale of all of their employees.

[1]  29 U.S.C. § 207(r)(1)(B).

New room for nursing mothers at DISH Network

New room for nursing mothers at DISH Network


New room for nursing mothers at DISH Network

New room for nursing mothers at DISH Network



  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people.