Work & Family Policy Database
Nursing Mothers’ Workplace Rights
Subject: Nursing Mothers' Rights at Work
Statute/Code Cite: 29 U.S.C. Sec. 207(r)
Summary: The 2010 health care reform law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide many nursing mothers with a right to reasonable break times and a private place to express breast milk at work for one year after giving birth. The nursing mothers protected by the law are those who are paid hourly and eligible for overtime (“non-exempt” employees under the FLSA) a population that is least likely to have control over breaks and schedules or to have a private place to express milk at work. The law generally applies to employers of all sizes, with only a limited exemption in cases of undue hardship.
This database provides short summaries of bills and statutes. The summaries are not intended to constitute legal advice. To find out how laws relate to your particular situation, you must contact a lawyer who specializes in employees’ rights, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (1-866-4USWAGE), your state labor department and/or your union.