Nursing mothers at work often wonder if they are entitled to break times to express milk for their babies. This is a common question and issue that comes up and unfortunately most employers incorrectly handle breaks for nursing mothers.
The following was taken directly from the Department of Labor website:
“Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk (Section 7 of the FLSA). Employers are also required to provide 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.” (https://www.dol.gov/WHD/nursingmothers/)
This means that not only are Employers required to give you reasonable breaks to express breast milk. But they must also have a special private area reserved for you to do so. If your employer is not complying with Federal law, we recommend you follow these steps:
- Report in writing to the company that this is Federal Law and that you are requesting reasonable break times. (“Reasonableness can differ depending on your place of work and your type of work.”)
- Keep a journal of your attempts to work with Human Resources or your Company to get break times and a private area to express your breast milk.
- Consult with an attorney.