Although occurring in their home lives, when employees welcome babies into their families, it often also impacts the workplace. Upon their return to work, employers must make certain accommodations for new mothers.
To help avoid violating the rights of their workers and causing potential problems, it behooves employers to understand their rights and responsibilities toward their employees.
Reasonable break time
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, mothers in the workplace have a right to reasonable break time for expressing milk under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Employers should allow nursing employees breaks as frequently as they require.
In addition to giving their workers the time, the act also necessitates employers provide new mothers with a private space, other than a restroom, to express milk. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the space for expressing milk should have shielding from view and privacy from intrusions by coworkers or others. Employers need not provide permanent, dedicated spaces. However, nursing employees should have access to the space whenever needed.
Pay during nursing breaks
Employers do not have to pay workers for nursing breaks. Though, if they provide compensated break time to other employees and new mothers use that time for expressing milk, they must pay them in the same way as the other workers.
The birth of a child often brings joy to the families of those who welcome them, as well as to those around them. Meeting the necessary requirements for nursing mothers allows employers to share in the happiness and support them as they reenter the workforce.