Workplace lactation support is a “win-win.” Employers that provide lactation support experience an impressive return on investment, including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover rates, improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. The retention rate for employees of companies with lactation support programs is 94%; the national average is 59%. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Business Case for Breastfeeding.
FEDERAL BREASTFEEDING LEGISLATION
Right to Breastfeed on Federal Property
On May 18, 1999, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced the Right to Breastfeed Act (H.R. 1848). Although it did not pass independently, a version was included in both the Treasury-Postal and Interior Appropriations bills. It was enacted as part of the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill (H.R. 2490), Public Law 106-58, signed September 29, 1999. Section 647 states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.”
Affordable Healthcare Act provides protection for women to pump breast milk in the workplace.
Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Health Care Reform), amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or federal wage and hour law. The amendment requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place for nursing mothers to express breast milk during the workday, for one year after the child’s birth. The new requirements became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Visit the “Workplace Support in Federal Law” page to learn more. The resource, Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions, includes photos and stories of 200 businesses in 29 U.S. states, representing 22 industry sectors. The resources are designed to assist businesses with implementing Section 4207 of the Affordable Care Act.
Idaho Code 2-212 (2002) provides that a person who is not disqualified for jury service under 2-209 may have jury service postponed by the court or the jury commissioner only upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity, or upon a showing that the juror is a mother breastfeeding her child. (2002 HB 497) There are no Idaho laws protecting a woman’s right to breastfeed anywhere in public.