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The FLSA Requires Employers to Provide Breast-Feeding Women Time and Place to Pump Milk

According to recent employment law news, a company has settled a Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) lawsuit based on a woman being denied adequate time and place to express milk. 

Federal employment law, including provisions of the FLSA, requires that women be provided a time and place to pump breast milk, specifically “employers are to provide employees a place, shielded from view and free from public intrusion, to pump breast milk." They are also required to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to one year after its birth.

However, in the recent breastfeeding lawsuit, the woman alleged she was forced to leave the workplace and express milk in the parking lot, without privacy, and accessible to the public and co-workers.  Finding this intolerable, the woman quit her job.  She then filed a claim for constructive discharge, asserting that not providing for her breastfeeding needs created a hostile work environment, leading to a forced resignation.  The company settled.

A representative from the Department of Labor (DOL) noted, “Employers and employees should understand that forcing a nursing mother to express milk in a restroom or in public is against the law … The law requires employers to provide women who are nursing with privacy during their break time.”

The DOL's Nursing Mothers Fact Sheet provides a more complete list of information if you have concerns regarding your rights to breastfeed at work. Click here for more information: Breastfeeding fact sheet.

If you have any questions or believe that you may have faced any type of employment discrimination, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.