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Lactation/Breastfeeding Policy

   3/20/2014
 
 
Practice Note

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted March 23, 2010, requires employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—which is most employers—to provide unpaid, reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for a year after her child’s birth. Several states and some municipalities also have such legal requirements. Even the relatively rare employer that has no such obligation may wish to provide break times. Typically, a lactation/breastfeeding law will require, for a stated period after birth of a child, an employer of a certain size to provide a private place—other than the bathroom—for a woman to pump breast milk or to breastfeed a child during which time no duties may be required to be performed. See What is the definition of “a private place” under the breastfeeding break provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?, Health Care: Lactation Rooms Requirements, Break Requirement for Nursing Mothers Raises Unanswered Questions, and Terminating Employees for Lactating Is Sex Discrimination. State laws on breaks for nursing mothers vary. See Breastfeeding Laws.

Objective
As part of our family-friendly policies and benefits, [Company Name] supports breastfeeding mothers by accommodating the mother who wishes to express breast milk during her workday when separated from her newborn child.

Accommodation for Lactating Mothers

For up to one year after the child’s birth, any employee who is breastfeeding her child will be provided reasonable break times to express breast milk for her baby. [Company Name] has designated the room located [insert location] for this purpose. A small refrigerator reserved for the specific storage of breast milk is available. Any breast milk stored in the refrigerator must be labeled with the name of the employee and the date of expressing the breast milk. Any nonconforming products stored in the refrigerator may be disposed of. Employees storing milk in the refrigerator assume all responsibility for the safety of the milk and the risk of harm for any reason, including improper storage, refrigeration and tampering. Nursing mothers wishing to use this room must request/reserve the room by contacting [insert name and phone number]. Additional rules for use of the room and refrigerator storage are posted in the room. Employees who work offsite or in other locations will be accommodated with a private area as necessary.

Breaks of more than 20 minutes in length will be unpaid, and the employee should indicate this break period on her time record.

 

This material is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should always contact your attorney to determine if this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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