While not a legal requirement under the ADA to accommodate nursing mothers at work, the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (FLSA) of 2019 requires certain employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk” in “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk”.
The provided location, even if it is not dedicated exclusively to the nursing mother’s use, must be available when needed. The location must be hygienic and completely private with a lock. It must also contain a chair, working surface, and an electrical outlet. Businesses with over 50 employees are required to give uncompensated breaks for milk expression. For exceptions see WHD Fact Sheet #22, Hours Worked under the FLSA. Also, check with your state for greater protections beyond the FLSA requirements.
Check these sites for more information:
- Fact Sheet on Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA, U.S. Department of Labor
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor
- Frequently Asked Questions – Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor
Additionally, the ACA requires new private health insurance plans to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services, such as breastfeeding support, supplies, and lactation consultation, with no cost sharing.
For more information:
- Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act, NCSL webpage
- Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, Health Services and Resources Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Affordable Care Act Rules on Expanding Access to Preventive Services for Women, HHS.gov/HealthCare, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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