Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk (Section 7 of the FLSA). Employers are also required to provide 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.
The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions posted below provide basic information about the law.
- WHD Fact Sheet #73, Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA (Spanish Version)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA (Microsoft® PowerPoint®)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers Poster (Spanish)
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers Employee Rights Card
- FLSA Handy Reference Guide
- How to File a Complaint
- Fair Labor Standards Act § 7(r) (as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148)
- State Breastfeeding Laws
- Request for Information on Break Time for Nursing Mothers, Federal Register 75: 80073-80079, (December 21, 2010): This notice is a request for information from the public regarding the recent amendment to the FLSA that requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a place for nursing mothers to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. The Department seeks information and comments for its review as it considers how best to help employers and employees understand the requirements of the law.
- Nursing Mothers Workplace Protections Flyer (PDF): The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide eligible employees with reasonable break time to pump breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. Under the law, employers are required to allow eligible employees reasonable break time to pump whenever needed. Employers are also required to provide eligible employees with a private place to pump—space that is shielded from view, free from intrusion, and NOT in a bathroom. However, the FLSA break time requirements apply only to employees who are eligible for overtime pay.
- Guide for Establishing a Federal Nursing Mother’s Program
- Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions
- CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative, Workplace Lactation Support Program Toolkit
- EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities
- National Conference of State Legislatures Compilation of State Breastfeeding Laws
- Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding