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Breastfeeding Mom’s Have Rights

Breastfeeding Mom’s Have Rights

Do you have breastfeeding mothers who are working?

Do you have a policy that states you will provide a place for breastfeeding Moms to express milk for their babies? If you don’t, you are not  compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Are you willing to provide light-duty work for breastfeeding moms if necessary so that it does not interfere with her ability to produce milk?

A case in Alabama illustrates the importance of allowing new mothers to produce milk.  In this case, a police officer was awarded $374,000 by the jury. They said that she should have been allowed an accommodation when her doctor stated that wearing her bullet-proof vest could cause a breast infection. The officer sued claiming under violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Family Medical Leave and she won.

What you need to know:

  1. Employers are required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the new mom to express milk.
  2. Companies are required to allow unlimited, unpaid breaks to express mild during work hours.
  3. You are required to provide the space and time away from work for a period of one year after the birth of the child.
  4. It is best practice to have a clear policy and follow it.

Many of the companies I work with are not aware this law exists.  Including it in the employee handbook provides the communication to the employees and also provides for the development of a plan the employer intends to follow when the situation arises. Being aware of this law and taking it seriously reduces the risk to your company and makes for happier employees.

 

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