Employers and Employer Groups

Recommendations on how many lactation spaces are needed

Some workplaces employ a large number of breastfeeding employees at any single time. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends clarifying that because the statute requires employers to provide break time each time such employee has need to express the milk, employers should consider the number of nursing mothers employed and their work schedules to determine the location and number of spaces to designate or create. If more than one employee uses the room at one time, privacy screens or curtains would be necessary to meet the threshold of "shielded from view". Recommendations about how many lactation spaces to provide based on the number of employees at a worksite may also be helpful.

 

Recommended Language for Added FAQ:

Q: What if there are several breastfeeding employees at the worksite?

A: Because the statute requires employers to provide break time "each time such employee has need to express the milk,'' employers should consider the number of nursing mothers employed and their work schedules to determine the location and number of spaces to designate or create. Employers may provide a large room with privacy screens so that the room may be used simultaneously by several nursing employees. Where the designated space is so far from the employee's work area as to make it impractical for the employee to take breaks to express milk, or where the number of nursing employees needing to use the space either prevents an employee from taking breaks to express milk or necessitates prolonged waiting time, the Department will not consider the employer to be in compliance with the requirement to provide reasonable break time.

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Idea No. 82