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What are your workplace rights as a new mother?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2019 | Employment Law - Employees

One of the more common reasons people in Charleston seek medical leave is to accommodate the birth of a child. Your time on maternity leave gives you the perfect opportunity to bond with your new baby. Going back to work after welcoming such a bundle of joy into your life can be difficult (and not simply due to you being separated from your new baby for several hours every workday). As a new mother, your body acclimates to providing your newborn with needed sustenance, and as you know, that does not stop simply because you have to go back to work

This can make those initial months back in the office following maternity leave a bit awkward, as expressing breast milk while away from your infant may become necessary. This, of course, can not only take you away from your work, but also require you to find an area where you can pump your breastmilk in private. You might be concerned that your employer will not be sensitive to your needs during this time, yet not to worry; federal law requires that they be. 

Indeed, per the U.S. Department of Labor, your employer is required to accommodate your need to express breastmilk while at work for up to one year following the birth of your child. In the context of this law, “accommodate” means allowing you time during work hours to pump, and providing you with a private place in which to do it. This space must be an area other than a bathroom where you are safely shielded from view and not at risk of any intrusions by either coworkers or the public. 

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