August was National Breastfeeding Month, and it’s important for both employers and employees to know that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires breaks for mothers to express breast milk during the workday.
A provision of the FLSA requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time as well as a space to express milk as frequently as needed by a nursing mother, for up to one year following the birth of her child. Here are some other requirements:
- The space must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.
- The use of a bathroom is not an acceptable space to provide to nursing mothers expressing milk.
- Nursing employees must have access to this space each time they need to express milk.
- The frequency of breaks needed to express breast milk as well as the duration of each break depends on several factors and may vary.
The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division published an employee rights card that outlines the FLSA’s basic requirements for break time, lists resources where additional information can be found (including a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone), and shares how to file a complaint with the division if an employee feels her rights have been violated.
We encourage you to visit the nursing mothers section of the Wage and Hour Division’s website, download the new employee rights card and help us spread the word about these resources. There is also a link that allows other agencies and stakeholders to share the card through their websites.
This is from the official blog of United States Dept. of Labor. Read more here: http://social.dol.gov/blog/know-your-rights-breastfeeding-in-the-workplace/