There are as many women in construction as there are dental hygienists (approx 200,000). Data about tradeswomen becoming pregnant during their construction career is nil, though we can infer that our population reflects the larger population of American women. The following testimony was provided to me in person by a carpenter in NYC. She was nursing and pumping on a construction site for one year between 2018-2019... more »
Nursing Mothers and Nursing Mother Groups
For working lactating moms, especially those who have required travel, it would be helpful for DOL to try and gather a national list of places that offer a private space for anyone in the public to use for pumping/nursing.
While the law requires employers to accommodate nursing mothers – what is missed is that often these accommodations are only provided AFTER a lactating mom ASKS for them instead of having it OFFERED when they return. While this seems like a simple switch, it would have made all the difference to me in returning to work if my employer had started the conversation instead of me. If instead of me asking where can I pump... more »
I worked for a large company! But when it came down to being a breastfeeding employee, no one in my direct management, Security and HR knew where lactation rooms were available! Since I was invested and could not bare the pain, I went lookig for a hole in my building and elsewhere. Companies should be fined for having a relax demeanor on a significant role that lactating Moms give freely back to their employers - a... more »
Provide education about the importance of comprehensive lactation support to breastfeeding success and associated health benefits for families and businesses Medela appreciates this opportunity to comment on how the Department of Labor can best assist mothers who need lactation support, including adequate break time and space at work. Going back to work after having a baby is a challenging time for new parents, especially... more »
I think it would be a great idea to offer an informative handout to both the returning mother and her supervisory chain of command notifying all parties involved of the expectations of both the mother and the supervisors/workplace in regards to allotted time and location for pumping. The handout could include the basic rights permitted and then web addresses to visit for more information. This would be given to all women... more »
Require yearly training for employers/employees educating them on breastfeeding laws and discrimination. Most companies are already required to do yearly ADA/Discrimination training, a short 5min video added with this would be both cost effective and efficient in keeping employers and employees up to date on breastfeeding/pumping laws in the workplace.
I am a firefighter and a mother to two toddlers. I am fortunate enough to support other mothers formally by the nature of my current assignment. There is so much opportunity to be more accessible to employers with a lower representation of women. Oftentimes in a predominantly non-women environment, both the few women employees and employer are slower to know their rights and need to accommodate.
Because of the ebb and flow of lactating women in the workforce, it is necessary to remind employers of the requirements. I have found that while companies may have policies in place, the knowledge and enforcement of what is required can get lost. If there is currently no women using designated areas they may become repurposed. This leads to many new nursing mothers having to have the same discussions as previous mothers.... more »
Using academic researchers to go into their communities to help mothers understand their rights through participatory action research. Those willing, can help organize communities through academic/scholar activism that involves giving voice to mothers so that they can discuss their issues and prioritize.
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.
Employers are often not familiar with breastfeeding and what's involved in pumping. Providing additional education around what is typical for a pumping parent in regards to length of time and frequency would be helpful for employers understanding of needs.
Many women pump past one year. If you're goal is one year, you can't just stop pumping. It has to be a gradual process. The WHO recommends breastfeeding to 2yrs. I don't feel it's fair to put an end date or at least it needs to be extended to 2 yrs.
Employers tend to see "provide space" and think it needs to be an added room/space. Outlining examples of low cost ways to provide space, such as utilizing an existing space as 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 »