Breastfeeding Rights

In PA, the law protects your right to breastfeed your child in any location and Philadelphia and federal law protect many working mothers who want to express breast milk in the workplace.

If you have questions about pumping breast milk at work or breastfeeding in a public location in Pennsylvania, and whether the law protects you, contact the Women’s Law Project at 215-928-9801 or info@womenslawproject.org.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia passed a Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance (PFPO) that protects against unlawful discrimination. It is enforced by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. As it pertains to breastfeeding, the PFPO provides the following protections:

Breastfeeding in public: In Philadelphia, women are permitted to breastfeed in public and no one is permitted to ask a her to leave or to move from a public space, if she would be allowed to be there, if she were not breastfeeding. This is irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to breastfeeding.

Pumping in the workplace: 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.

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. Complaints must be filed with the Commission within 300 days of the last act of discrimination.

Center City Office
The Curtis Center
601 Walnut Street, Suite 300 South
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-686-4670
TTY: 215-686-3238
www.phila.gov/humanrelations

If you have questions about the law or are looking for a lawyer to represent you, contact the Women’s Law Project 215-928-9801 or info@womenslawproject.org.

In Pennsylvania

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 allowed 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. You may contact the Women’s Law Project at 215-928-9801 for assistance.

Information and Resources on the Benefits of Breastfeeding