Breastfeeding and Pumping Rights
Overview: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Federal Laws
In Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, the law protects your right to breastfeed your child in any location, whether public or private,regardless of whether or not your breast is concealed. In addition, Philadelphia and federal law protect many working mothers who want to express breast milk in the workplace.
Breastfeeding in public: Under the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, a public accommodation in Philadelphia may not prohibit a breastfeeding mother from or segregate a breastfeeding mother within any public accommodation where she would otherwise be authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to breastfeeding. Philadelphia Code § 9-1106(1)(a)(.3).
Pumping in the workplace: Under the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance, an employer in Philadelphia must reasonably accommodate an employee’s need to express breast milk as long as the accommodation does not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer. Reasonable accommodations include: providing unpaid break time, allowing an employee to use paid break, mealtime, or both to express milk, and providing a private, sanitary space that is not a bathroom where an employee can express milk. Philadelphia Code § 9-1103(m).
If you believe that your breastfeeding or pumping rights have been violated in the city of Philadelphia and want to begin the complaint process, you may file a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
Under Pennsylvania’s Freedom to Breastfeed Act, a mother is permitted to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be present, irrespective of whether or not the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
The law also states that breastfeeding shall not be considered a crime of indecent exposure, open lewdness, obscenity, or nuisance.
If you believe that your breastfeeding rights under the Freedom to Breastfeed Act, 35 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 636.1-636.4., have been denied, contact a lawyer for assistance in enforcing your rights.
In the United States:
Under federal law, employers must accommodate some women who want to express breast milk in the workplace by providing:
These rights are contained in The Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 207(r)(1)(A) (2010), which does not protect everyone:
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing this law. For information about filing a complaint, see http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers
Women's Law Project, 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215-928-9801) firstname.lastname@example.org