The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires workplace provisions for working mothers who recently gave birth if they choose to collect breast milk for their nursing children. Employers must provide reasonable time and a private place for employees to pump breast milk.
The reasonable time provision allow nursing mothers adequate time to complete the breast milk collection process, and as often as the nursing mother needs, which may vary from employee to employee. Nursing mothers in the workplace need access to a private place that is out of view of other employees, but, the law stipulates, the location cannot be a bathroom.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt to the FLSA requirements only if providing special accommodations for nursing mothers would cause significant difficulty or expense. State laws providing greater protection to nursing mothers in the workplace take precedence over the FLSA requirements. Laws in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location and may have requirements different than the FLSA requirements.
For more information:
- (See page 477, section 4207 of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for the language amending Section 7 of the FLSA.)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor
- Frequently Asked Questions – Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor