Did you know that a woman’s right to breastfeed is protected by both state and federal laws? The 2010 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” ensures that breastfeeding protections also extend to the workplace. Is your organization in compliance with the law?
Federal law requires businesses with 50 or more employees to provide two essential things for their breast pumping employees:
1) Reasonable break time.
Expressing milk takes time and can vary from mom to mom, and from day to day. So while there’s no need to specify a set amount of time, breastfeeding employees need to be given adequate and frequent breaks to accommodate their lactation needs.
2) A private place that’s not a bathroom.
Pumping in a bathroom is neither sanitary nor private. The law establishes the minimum requirements, but companies that offer lactation spaces designed to foster a positive and productive breastfeeding environment report higher levels of employee efficiency, retention, and loyalty.
Lactation experts agree that these additional features are essential to providing a productive and supportive environment for breastfeeding employees:
– A comfortable place to sit
– A locking door
– Access to an electrical outlet for a breast pump
– Additional outlets for a laptop or other devices
– A table to place the pump
– USB plug to charge phones
– Food grade surfaces that are easy to clean
– Quiet and calming interior
– A fan for white noise
– A mirror so moms can be sure they’re buttoned up
Do you have the right number of lactation spaces?
In addition, you need to consider the number of lactation spaces recommended per your count of female employees. The Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the following chart based on recommendations from the National Institutes of Health. A general rule is to provide at least one permanent lactation space for every 50-100 women employed by the company, and adjust as employee needs increase.
Red Thread is here to help! We have a number of simple solutions available to meet federal compliance and ensure comfort, privacy and convenience for your female employees. Mamava Mini is one turnkey prefabricated solution that eliminates the need for construction, plumbing, hardwiring, or reallocating a room.