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Labor Department Seeks
Comments On Nursing Mothers Law
December 29, 2010
- The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is requesting
public comments on its preliminary interpretations of a new provision of
the Fair Labor Standards Act that requires employers to provide nursing
mothers with reasonable break time and a private space for expressing
breast milk while at work.
This new provision
— the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law — became law when the
Affordable Care Act was signed by the president in March 2010. The
provision responds to a reality that many women face when they return to
work after having a baby.
"Many women who
want to continue breastfeeding their children simply can't because they
do not have the necessary accommodations to do it," said Secretary of
Labor Hilda L. Solis.
"What the department is seeking to do is to develop guidance for employers that will assist them in complying with this new law and that will support women who choose to continue nursing once they return to work. And with input from the public — including working mothers and employers — we'll be successful in doing that."
will accept public comments in response to a request for information on
its preliminary interpretations for the next 60 days with a deadline of
Feb. 22, 2011, via website.
employees are encouraged to visit the site. It provides general
information and guidance that has been issued by the department on the
new break time requirements for nursing mothers in the workplace, as
well as a compilation of resources that employers, employees and other
interested stakeholders might find useful as they develop workplace
lactation programs. Many employers already have successfully implemented
lactation programs using these and similar resources.
The Wage and Hour
Division is responsible for administering and enforcing a number of
federal labor laws, including the FLSA. The act's nursing mothers
provision requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an
employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after
the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.
Employers also are
required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded
from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which
may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
For information on federal laws concerning wage and hour issues
For information on federal laws concerning wage and hour issues visit.
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