This article was part of a BBIC (Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council - Bravado's information arm) effort to help employers create a positive environment for new mothers. The piece was written for employees – but well worth a read for those planning to go back to work after maternity leave.
It is simple and easy to set up a breastfeeding policy for new mothers in your workplace. By following the five simple steps outlined in this white paper, your company will not only be in compliance with the law, it will also be positioned as a firm that values and respects a very valuable part of its workforce: well-trained, experienced employees who have chosen to embark on the journey of motherhood. Women that are fully supported by their workplace in their desire to continue to breastfeed their child demonstrate greater productivity, peace of mind, loyalty and positive feelings toward your company. Simply put, a breastfeeding policy is good business.
The Federal Healthcare Reform Act - Breastfeeding Workplace Policies
The Federal Healthcare Reform Act signed by President Obama in March 2010 requires companies of more than 50 employees to support nursing mothers who would like to express breast milk at their place of work up until the child's first birthday.
"President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, on March 23rd and the Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872, on March 30, 2010. Among many provisions, the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer 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 the need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk. If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs less than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. Furthermore, these requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees."
Even if your company has less than 50 employees, it isn’t complicated or expensive to implement a breastfeeding policy.