Lactation rooms in the workplace


Current employment law requires employers to provide a private place for lactating women to express breast milk at their work place.


Attorney Tom Olsen: We were a little while ago focusing on some cutting edge law and that is women who have had children, they are lactating and they want to have a place to express milk at work.

Attorney Travis Hollifield: Yes.

Attorney Tom Olsen: And some new laws coming down for that.

Attorney Travis Hollifield: Yes, the Fair Labor Standards Act as we mentioned in the first half hour of you’re show, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to provide break time and a sanitary facility other than a bathroom or i.e., a lactation room for their employees that wish to express milk for at least one year after the birth of a child.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If you’re a large company and you want to set up a lactating room for the female employees, what would it look like?

Attorney Travis Hollifield: Well, certainly it would be clean, it would be sanitary it would be private. There would be a lock on the door, ideally there would be at least one comfortable chair perhaps more depending on the size of the company and a refrigerator as well. That would be an ideal situation, and of course if you want to add some nice plants and a television, I’m sure the employees would be appreciative of that as well. But kidding aside, the bare minimum would be what I just mentioned.

Attorney Tom Olsen: How big of a company would you have to be before the expectation would be that you provide a lactation room for your female employees?

Attorney Travis Hollifield: Well, under the law there is no minimum or maximum number of employees. The idea is basically what is the law and what's the best practice for you as an employer because as more women become aware of their rights in the workplace to be able to lactate, they’re going to begin demanding lactation rooms and it’s going to end up being something where if you want good employees, certainly that happened to be female, happened to be of child bearing age, this is going to be not a benefit that’s extended to them, it’s something that’s legally required and it’s just part of a normal work day.