For many working moms, returning to work after maternity leave not only brings challenges regarding finding adequate childcare for their little one, it can also cause challenges for those breastfeeding and needing to keep up with the demands of both their career and providing enough sustenance for their infant.
Luckily, federal and state laws now support working mothers with breastfeeding infants under the age of one year. According to the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law, put into effect on March 23, 2010, this federal law requires employers to provide break time and a place for hourly paid workers to express breast milk at work (i.e. – pump). In particular, the law states that employers must provide a “reasonable” amount of time for a nursing mother to pump and that they must provide a private space other than a bathroom for them to do so. All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 2011 (FLSA) must comply with the break time for nursing mothers provision unless they have fewer than 50 employees and can demonstrate that compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship.
As a part of Section 4207 of the Patient Protection Care Act, under the FLSA, nursing mothers should inform their employers that they plan on pumping breast milk for their child during the workday, and request a private space to do so. Many working mothers rely on being able to pump during work in an effort to provide enough breast milk for their babies while in day care. Though an employer has to provide a time and a place for mothers to pump, the breaks do NOT have to be paid breaks unless you are already entitled to them. Meaning, if you are entitled to a 15 minute break every few hours and you dedicate 25 minutes towards pumping, the employer only has to pay you for the original 15 minutes of break time.
Both state and federal laws exist regarding time and space requirements for nursing mothers. If your state has a law in place that is more beneficial than the federal law, then that law would apply in your case and vice versa. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures:
• Twenty-five states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace. (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.)
• Sixteen states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed. (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Virginia.)
If you believe your employer is not complying with federal and/or state laws by failing to provide reasonable time and a place for you to express breast milk during your work day, please contact your state or the U.S. Department of Labor to make a formal complaint.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com . She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 10 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
Check Out This Gallery Of Our Fave Celebrity Moms!
Hollywood's Hottest Moms Who Make It Look Easy
1. Taking Care Of Home & Still Fly!Source:Getty 1 of 34
2. Kerry WashingtonSource:Getty 2 of 34
3. MonicaSource:Getty 3 of 34
4. CiaraSource:Getty Images/Gilbert Carrasquillo 4 of 34
5. Christina MilianSource:Getty 5 of 34
6. Eva MarcilleSource:Getty 6 of 34
7. BeyonceSource:Getty 7 of 34
8. Tamera Mowry-HousleySource:Getty 8 of 34
9. Jill ScottSource:Getty 9 of 34
10. Lisa BonetSource:Getty 10 of 34
11. Amber RoseSource:Getty 11 of 34
12. Mel B.Source:Desiree Navarro/WireImage 12 of 34
13. Angela BassettSource:Getty 13 of 34
14. Garcelle BeauvaisSource:Getty 14 of 34
15. Alicia KeysSource:Getty 15 of 34
16. Kimora Lee SimmonsSource:Getty 16 of 34
17. KelisSource:Getty 17 of 34
18. Erykah BaduSource:Getty 18 of 34
19. Gwen StefaniSource:Getty 19 of 34
20. Paula PattonSource:Getty 20 of 34
21. Taraji P. HensonSource:Getty 21 of 34
22. Jada Pinkett SmithSource:Getty 22 of 34
23. Lauryn HillSource:Getty 23 of 34
24. Jennifer HudsonSource:Getty 24 of 34
25. Lauren LondonSource:Getty 25 of 34
26. Jennifer LopezSource:Getty 26 of 34
27. Mariah CareySource:Getty 27 of 34
28. LaLa AnthonySource:Getty 28 of 34
29. Toni BraxtonSource:Getty 29 of 34
30. 'Lil KimSource:Getty 30 of 34
31. Solange KnowlesSource:Getty 31 of 34
32. Halle BerrySource:Getty 32 of 34
33. Tamar BraxtonSource:Getty 33 of 34
34. Kim Kardashian and Kris JennerSource:Getty 34 of 34
Legalize Boobies: Breastfeeding & Breast Pumping Laws For The Workplace That You Need To Know was originally published on hellobeautiful.com