The Denver-based food chain claims it has apologized for the incident.
A representative for Chipotle Mexican Grill said the company has apologized to a Smyrna woman who claimed a manager humiliated her for breastfeeding her child in the store.
An attorney for the woman, Tiffany Bowman, however, disputed that claim, saying no apology has been made.
Bowman, 27, of Smyrna initially wrote about the incident on her Facebook page, saying that on May 10 she was breastfeeding her 1-year-old son while she, her fiancé and 6-year-old were having a meal at the Dover restaurant.
Bowman said a man, whom she later learned was the manager, came up and told her she was not allowed to breastfeed in the restaurant.
A Delaware law, passed in 1997, does permit the practice, saying in part, “… a mother shall be entitled to breast-feed her child in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.”
Bowman said she asked the manager, identified as Matt Barnes, if he preferred she feed her child in the bathroom, to which he agreed.
As she intended her question to be rhetorical, Bowman said she took “extreme offense” to the statement and eventually left the restaurant in tears.
An officer at a local police station -- she did not say if it was Dover -- agreed she was in the right, Bowman said.
“Without any sincere apology for his actions about the way he ruined my and my family’s evening, his ignorant behavior quickly escalated to a disrespectful encounter,” Bowman wrote.
The Dover Post contacted Chipotle public relations director Chris Arnold, who said the Denver-based company was aware of the incident.
“Breastfeeding mothers are always welcome in our restaurants,” Arnold wrote in an email. “This is a case where an individual employee made a poor decision.
“We have spoken to our restaurant about this and are confident that this issue would not happen again,” Arnold wrote, “and we have been in touch with the customer directly to offer our sincerest apologies.”
Bowman declined an interview with the Dover Post after initially agreeing to discuss her experience, instead referring any questions to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based attorney, Carrie Goldberg.
Contacted via email, Goldberg denied that Bowman had received an apology -- or contact of any kind -- from Chipotle.
“There has been no communication of this sort directed to my client or to me as her lawyer,” she said.
Bowman hired her as a means of protecting her constitutional rights, Goldberg said.
“Ms. Bowman’s legal rights were violated,” she said. “Delaware protects the rights of individuals to breastfeed in public accommodations and that state’s definition of public accommodation includes places like Chipotle.”
However, upon making a second inquiry, Arnold said he personally had spoken with Bowman on May 11.
“During that conversation, I repeatedly apologized on behalf of Chipotle for this incident,” he said.
On Monday, Arnold provided a link to the company’s Facebook page of Bowman’s initial complaint along with the company’s apology.
The link contained an acknowledgment from Bowman back to Chipotle in which she said her attorney would be contacting the company.
Tuesday morning, however, Goldberg’s office indicated Chipotle still has failed to answer Bowman’s charges.
“There’s been no adequate response from Chipotle to my client addressing its unlawful discrimination toward her as a breastfeeding woman,” Goldberg said in an email “Period.”