By: Tommy Eden, Attorney
On July 28 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Fact Sheet explaining the March, 2010 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act that requires employers to provide breaks for nursing mothers. Got to www.dol.gov and type in Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA and you will find a copy. The law requires employers to provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk." Employers must provide the breaks "as frequently as needed", and must give the employee a private place, other than a bathroom, to take the breaks. The breaks need to be of "reasonable" length. The employer does not have to pay the employee for the break time, unless the employer already provides compensated breaks, and the employee uses one of those breaks to express breast milk.
A couple of interesting points: (1) the law applies only to non-exempt employees, and not to exempt employees; and, (2) employers with under 50 employees are not subject to the law "if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship."
Break Time for Nursing Mothers
Employer complies with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning breast- feeding and nursing mothers and provides assistance for nursing mothers who want to express and store breast milk at workplaces during business hours.
Questions: Please contact Human Resources.
Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com