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Military veteran stands up for women's rights, loses civilian job

She is a woman who served in the military to protect the rights and freedoms she believes in. As an army veteran, she continued to fight for the rights she believed in while working in a civilian position at a medical digital imaging services corporation. The woman helped organize awareness campaigns and act as a program director for an awareness group called Mom2Mom. The group raises breastfeeding awareness.

When she took a photo of two servicewomen breastfeeding in uniform, like many awareness campaigns raised a little controversy. Shortly after the photo was made public, she was terminated from employment at her civilian job. She lost her job on June 1 under what she claims are wrongful circumstances for standing up for gender equality.

The photo was accosted not for the breastfeeding displayed, but for the fact that the women were in their Air National Guard uniforms. The employee who took the photo was surprised by the negative reaction from many. She likened the uniform to other uniforms worn in employment situations and asked why a woman should have to take the time to change before feeding.

According to her former employer, the woman was terminated for "various legitimate employee-related reasons." He said that she failed to follow deadlines on time-sensitive projects and claimed that she was sick when she was not. The employer relayed that it seemed like she was putting the awareness campaign in front of her job. He said that she conducted personal business for the campaign while using the company car.

As media outlets dug deeper, they learned that the photo was not the only advocacy the woman recently participated in, some of it was at her civilian office. Only a month ago, the woman reported gender bias that she said occurred at her civilian employment. When she wanted to file a formal complaint, she was persuaded not to do so. As she waited for her boss to "handle it," her termination was already in the works. Two weeks after the report, she was fired -- something that if true would be considered retaliation under labor laws.

Source: Shine, "Woman Behind Controversial Military Breastfeeding Photo is Fired from Her Civilian Job," Lylah M. Alphonse, June 15, 2012

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