Monday, March 29, 2010

Lactation / Breast Pumping Rights At Work Contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Of the many provisions in the recently enacted national healthcare legislation, one that went largely overlooked by the media grants new rights to breastfeeding mothers in the workplace via an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the provision, employers with more than 50 workers will have to provide new mothers, for up to one year after birth, with “reasonable” time to take unpaid breaks to express breast milk for their nursing children. Such employers will also be required to provide a private space for the employee to do so. The Department of Labor is supposed to hammer out the regulatory details sometime in the near future. This provision will not preempt state laws to the extent that they provide greater protections.

Articles discussing the requirement are available here, and here.

For a summary of state breastfeeding legislation in the U.S., click here.

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