Mar 25, 2010

Health Care Bill Amends FLSA to Require Breastfeeding Breaks

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act) recently passed by Congress and signed by the President requires employers to provide reasonable, unpaid break time to employees who are nursing mothers to express breast milk for their infants. The Act amends section 207 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and requires an employer to provide a 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. The employer shall also make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the requirements of this provision if such breaks would “impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.”

For more information on how this Act may affect your organization, please contact your Employment counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

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