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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Clarifying privacy requirements

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,... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Education on rights and responsibilities

Many employers and employees are not yet aware of protections provided by the "Break Time" provision. To ensure that women know their rights and employers understand their responsibilities, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends including information on section 207(r) in Department publications, posters created for employers to post in their workplaces, and in employer and employee trainings on the FMLA and minimum... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Information on how break time affects other workplace benefits

Employees have expressed concern that exercising their rights under the "Break Time" law will impact other workplace benefits. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends providing information and resources about the relationship between break time taken under this provision and the calculation of hours for benefits eligibility, including health insurance. In addition, the USBC recommend providing information about the... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Supporting breaks for direct breastfeeding

Some employees wish to breastfeed directly during the workday, either by visiting an on-site child care center, a caregiver bringing the child to the worksite, or by leaving the worksite to visit the child in a nearby location. Some mothers are unable to express milk with a pump, some babies are unable to drink from a bottle, and still others find that direct breastfeeding is more efficient than milk expression through... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Accommodations when working off site

Travel is required by many employees. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends that the Department add clarification that it is the obligation of the employer to provide time and space, regardless of where the employee is located. In situations where the employee is off-site, the Department recommends that the employer arrange with personnel at the alternate location to allow the employee to use a space for the purpose... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Enforcement of the Break Time Provision

Many breastfeeding workers report that their employers refuse to comply with the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law because of the lack of a clear enforcement provision and the perception that violation will not lead to any consequences for the employer. Furthermore, support from State Departments of Labor in response to complaints from breastfeeding employees has been inconsistent. The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Informing Colleagues

Colleague understanding and support of the current laws and/or the need for future laws is just as important as the employer needing to know. I suggest there be a professional development offered to staff/employees/colleagues so they too understand and can better support their colleagues who are breastfeeding and/or pumping.

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Importance of language and need for change

One hurdle I have come across is that the law is worded as "Nursing mothers" and not every lactating woman is a nursing mother. I was a surrogate so have no baby at home but am exclusively pumping and providing that milk to the baby I carried and birthed. My employer initially said they didn't have to accommodate me because I am not a 'nursing mother' like the law names. I fought that and won the ability to pump at work... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Supporting Teachers

Under the federal law, teachers are not covered when it comes to pumping at work. For some lucky woman, some states have their own breastfeeding laws which give them more protection, but there are still hundreds of thousands of woman who must rely on the kindness of their employer or principal to be given a reasonable amount of time to pump in a safe, clean, secluded area. Planning time is not consistent across the board--... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

More clear definitions needed

There needs to be more clarity as to what defines a bathroom. In CA, the law says a woman can't be made to pump in a bathroom but doesn't define what constitutes a bathroom.

My employer has deemed that the space available for lactation purposes is the "shower room" which has a shower stall, sink and drain in the floor at the center of the room. That drain connects to a single toilet men's room on the other side of the... more »

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Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups

Provide information in a a variety of languages

To ensure that all breastfeeding employees and employers are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers provision, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee recommends that the Department of Labor makes Fact Sheet #73 and the associated FAQs available in multiple languages.

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