Friday, November 19, 2010
BREAKS FOR NURSING MOTHERS
Many of the provisions of the health care reform legislation do not take effect for years to come, but a new breastfeeding break requirement took effect on March 23, 2010 with very little media attention. Employers now are required to provide reasonable break times for female employees for lactation purposes for one year after the child's birth. Employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, but an employer is not required to compensate an employee for this break unless the employer already provides compensated breaks and the employee uses that time for nursing. Employers must provide a location for breastfeeding, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the pubic. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the break time requirement if compliance would impose an undue hardship, determined by looking at the difficulty or expense of compliance for a specific employer in comparison to the size, financial resources, nature, and structure of the employer's business.
-Submitted By Meredith Cook, Esq.