Many spaces used by breastfeeding employees do not include a lock or other means for ensuring privacy. As a result, many employees report being walked in on or otherwise interrupted while expressing breast milk during the work day. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends providing additional guidance from the Request for Information on Break Time for Nursing Mothers to address these privacy concerns. In addition, we recommend that the Department state that a sign clearly demonstrating that the space should not be entered is acceptable as a means to ensure privacy as long as it is accompanied by a well-communicated policy on employee behavior, including a sexual harassment policy that covers harassment on the basis of pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation.
Recommended Language for Added FAQ:
Q: What are the privacy requirements?
A: The space provided must be shielded from view and free from intrusion. Where practicable, employers are required to make a room (either private or with partitions for use by multiple nursing employees) available for use by employees taking breaks to express milk. Where it is not practicable for an employer to provide a room, the requirement can be met by creating a space with partitions or curtains. Any windows in the designated room or space should be covered to ensure the space is ``shielded from view.'' With any space provided for expressing milk, the employer must ensure the employee's privacy through means such as a lock on the door or signs that designate when the space is in use accompanied by a well-communicated policy on employee behavior, including a sexual harassment policy that covers harassment on the basis of pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation.