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Frequently Asked Questions About Breastfeeding at Work

| Jun 26, 2018 | Employment Law - Employees

If you’re a new mother within the work force in West Virginia, you may be concerned about breastfeeding on the job. New mothers will need to express milk several times throughout the day and doing so within a workplace can be tough to navigate. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect women with these very concerns, as explained by the United States Department of Labor.

Am I Allowed Break Time for Breastfeeding?

Provided you are covered by the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), your employer must provide break time to you during the work day to express breast milk. Even if you are not covered by the federal statute, nearly all states have laws governing this topic, and these laws may be applicable for women who are not covered by the FLSA.

What Are My Employer’s Obligations?

Along with the actual break, employers are also obligated to provide an appropriate space for nursing women. This space cannot be a restroom and should be isolated from both co-workers as well as customers. When it comes to the details of breaks (such as how many will be allotted during the day) these can vary from situation to situation. These breaks should be permitted for at least one year after a child has been born.

Will Nursing Breaks Be Paid?

While nursing breaks are not required to be paid, employers must still offer compensation for breaks throughout the day according to FLSA laws. As a result, if a worker uses one of her breaks to express milk she must be compensated accordingly.

Is It Necessary for Nursing Stations to Be Permanent?

Employers are not required to create a permanent space for nursing mothers. What’s important is that the space is secluded, available exactly when the nursing mother needs it, and must not be within a restroom facility. As long as these requirements are met, the space intended does not need to be permanent.

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