Rights of a breastfeeding mother at work

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Employment Law |

A woman who has a baby will usually take maternity leave so she can recover from the birth and bond with her baby. Some of those new mothers will breastfeed. This isn’t something that should have to stop just because she’s returning to work.

There are laws in place that establish specific rights for these working mothers. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that names certain requirements for employers to provide for these women.

What are employers required to do?

Employers are required to provide accommodations for the woman to express breastmilk. This must be in a place that provides her with privacy, but it can’t be in a bathroom. It has to be free from intrusion by others and can’t be in a location where people can see her pumping. It doesn’t have to be a permanent space.

You should include a chair and a flat surface for her to place the pump on. A source of electricity is also a good idea because women can usually pump faster using a battery-operated or electric pump than they can using a manual pump. A working mother who’s pumping might also appreciate a small refrigerator where she can store the milk until she goes home.

Women don’t have to be paid for the pumping breaks. They should be able to take them as often as reasonably necessary. Typically, this is more often when the baby is younger and less frequently as the child matures.

Any woman who feels as though her right to pump breastmilk at work has been violated should consider legal action. This can help them to get the things they’re entitled to so they can provide the milk for their child. It’s possible that this can help women in the future who are coming back to work while breastfeeding.