Pumping at Work
Do you need to pump breastmilk at work?
Under federal law (applies in all states), if your employer is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, they must accommodate some women who want to pump breast milk in the workplace. You may be covered by this law if you are an hourly employee.
If you are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer must provide:
- “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 a need to express the milk”; and
- “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
What can you do if the law applies to you but your employer is not letting you take pumping breaks in a private place? You may file a complaint with U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Some local ordinances offer additional rights relating to pumping at work.
Philadelphia employees have rights, even if they are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- What must a Philadelphia employer do? A Philadelphia employer must reasonably accommodate an employee’s need to pump breast milk as long as the accommodation does not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer.
- What is a reasonable accommodation? 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.
What can do if I work in Philadelphia? 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.