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When an employee returns from maternity leave...

Carol Johnson's Profile

How do you handle employees who return from maternity leave and need to take a break every few hours because they need to pump? Do you offer a "mom's room" in the workplace where they can go, or do you leave it up to the employee to figure it out? And do you require they make up the time they are spending away from their desk? I've seen companies handle this many ways, but I'd like to hear what other companies are currently doing.

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

It is the law.... I would provide reasonable accommodations for the Nursing Mothers. Take note of the " undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense" qualification on #3 if you are under 50 employees. Also, 15-30 minutes a day (for a year) may seem to be a significant cost, but it pales in comparison to the cost of a lawsuit. But more importantly, (in my opinion) it is the right thing to do.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/Sec7rFLSA_btnm.htm

Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision
Effective March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the FLSA to require employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk after the birth of her child. The amendment also requires that employers provide a place for an employee to express breast milk.
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(r)(1)
An employer shall provide—
a 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 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.

(2)
An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.

(3)
An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.

(4)
Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.

15-30 minutes a day (for a year) may seem to be a significant cost, but it pales in comparison to the cost of a lawsuit.

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