The Federal Labor Standards Act has been amended to require employers to provide reasonable breaktime and a place for nursing mothers to express milk.
The break time requirement is found in section 4207 of the Patient Protection and affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148. The provision requires 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." Employers are slao 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 breat milk.' The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. The Department of Labor has issued FAQs and Wage and Labor Fact Sheet #73 to help employers comply with the new law. http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.pdf.
More information can be found at http://dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers.
Office on Women's Health
Supporting Nursing Moms at Work information for employers and breastfeeding employees, visit this link: www.womenshealth.gov/suporting-nursing-moms-work/
New York State Laws
In 2007, New York State passed a legislation that protects nursing mothers who return to the workplace. The law requires employers to provide uncompensated breaks for women to express milk or nurse their children fpr up to a peroid of three yers. This law also bars an employer from discriminating against an employee exercising this right. In addition, the new law also requires employers to make 'reasonable efforts' to provid a room or other location where the employee can express breast milk privately. Labor Law, Article 7, Section 206-c, as enacted by A.B 1060, L. 2007.
For more information regarding Guideline Regarding the Rights of Nursing Mothers to Express Breast Milk in the Workplace: www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/LS702.pdf
Photo: United States Breastfeeding Committee
Making It Work Toolkit: an online resource for breastfeeding mothers returning to work or school.
NYS WIC Program and the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention developed the toolkit through a grant from the CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. They acknowledge Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, FILCA and Rayane AbuSabha, Ph.D. R.D. for their dedication to the project.
There are five individual toolkits, for moms, their familiy and employers, the law and additional material.
New York City Laws
Local Law 185 and Local Law 186 (both passed in 2018) require that employers provide employees with lactation accommodations, including a lactation room where employees can pump/express breast milk, and reasonable time to pump/express breast milk.
Employers are also required to have a written lactation policy that meets certain requirements under the law and must provide it to all new employees. The NYC Commission on Human Rights has developed several model lactation accommodation policies and a request form.
To find the NYC Breastfeeding Toolkit for Businesses, see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/neighborhood-health/breastfeeding-business-toolkit.page
If Your Rights are Violated:
The New York Civil Liberties Union can be contacted if you feel your rights are violated. Contact them at: 212-607-3339.
To file a compliant with the NYS Department of Labor regarding the Breastfeeding Workplace Accomodation law or for more information, visit: http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/LS702.pdf
www.worksitesforwellness.org is an organization whose mission is to educate and assist employers establish lactation rooms.
These two sites help employees and employers with breastfeeding: www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/wic/breastfeeding/ and www.breastfeedingpartners.org.
See Utica College article, "Perspectives of Hospital Based Nurses on Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices:"
Resources for working moms: Worklife Law Free Hotline: 1-415-703-8276 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For colleges/universities (for employees/students): www.ThePregnantScholar.org
For information regarding Postpartum Depression: