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Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Topic of the Week  Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Federal Protections for nursing mothers include the amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), which took effect via the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This legislation requires that employers provide a reasonable break time for women to express milk after the birth of a child. Since these protections may be limited, and may exclude some employees, knowing the laws in your state may help you better understand your rights.

1. How do I request a break to express breast?

There is no formal way to request a break to express milk. Employers are required to treat breaks taken to express breast milk the same as other breaks, however, employers are required to allow breast feeding moms to express milk as frequently as needed. Communication between the employer and employee can help to make this process a smooth one.

2. What does my employer have to provide me with after I request a break?

Section 7(r) of the FLSA requires employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to 1 year after the child’s birth. Employers must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion of coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

3. Can my employer deny me a break to express milk, but allows other employees to break for personal reasons?

No. According to EEOC guidance, an employer denying a break for breastfeeding while allowing breaks for other reasons violates Title VII, and is discrimination.

Thought of the Week

"Despite the great strides that the U.S. has made in breaking down breastfeeding barriers, gaps in the law remain. Workers don't have federally-protected breastfeeding rights and an employer is not required to compensate an employee for breaks they take to pump, [thus causing women to lose pay]. "

–Nola Booth

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Black Women's Equal Pay Day is all the evidence of systemic racism and sexism you need

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day falls on August 3 this year. That’s the day when, starting on January 1, 2020, Black women have finally been paid what white men were paid in 2020 alone.

Top Five News Headlines

  1. California Mid-Year Legislative Update: Family Leave, Sick Pay, and Work Quotas
  2. California Supreme Court Requires Employers to Pay Meal and Rest Period Premiums at the Regular Rate of Pay
  3. U.S. DOL Rescinds Trump-Era Rule Regarding Joint-Employer Status Under the FLSA
  4. Transportation Industry Alert - Labor Law Changes from the Biden Administration on the Horizon
  5. Registered and Authorized Medical Cannabis Patients in Puerto Rico Gain Employment Protections

List of the Week

from Little Bundle

Facts on the benefits of breastfeeding:

  • It's lack of water usage and zero waste make it environmentally friendly
  • It reduces the risk of post-partum depression in new mothers
  • Mothers offered space at work to pump are able to breastfeed their child longer
  • Adults who were breastfed are more likely to perform better in intelligence tests