The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to support employees that choose to express breast milk during work hours, for one year after a child’s birth.

Workplace Lactation Guidelines

The scheduling of breaks and work should be flexible and run concurrent with break times that are already provided whenever possible. Daily work schedules, including lunch and break times, and lengths will be established by the supervisor based on departmental needs. For time that may be needed beyond the normal scheduled breaks, employees may use vacation time or may make up time as discussed and approved by the supervisor.

Guidelines include the following:

  • A clean, private space. Not a toilet stall or restroom.
  • Accessible electrical outlets for an electric breast pump.
  • Access to a clean water source for washing hands and rinsing out any breast pump equipment.
  • A place for storing breast milk: a refrigerator or employee can bring in a small cooler or thermos.
  • All employees will be informed of this policy.

Federal Law

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require 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 are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Department of Labor website provide basic information about the law.

How to File a Complaint

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing some of the nation’s most important worker protection laws.

Make the commitment to implement this policy in your organization.

Complete the Letter of Intent