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July 25, 2016

Breastfeeding in public and the workplace

August is National Breastfeeding Month and August 1-7, 2016 is World Breastfeeding Week. In recognition we have compiled this resource guide on Wisconsin and Federal laws regarding breastfeeding in public and in the workplace.

Compiled by Jaime Healy-Plotkin
Cover of  Your guide to breastfeeding

Wisconsin law

Federal law

  • Fair Labor Standards Act, Section 7 "Break time for nursing mothers provision"
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Affordable Care Act") amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") to require 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. 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 break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. 
  • Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA (US Dept. of Labor)
    Fact sheet and frequently asked questions.


Books in our library

Case law

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Houston Funding II, Ltd. 717 F.3d 425
    "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought action against employer on behalf of female former employee, alleging employer unlawfully discharged employee because she was lactating and wanted to express milk at work."
  • Martinez v. NBC, Inc49 F. Supp. 2d 305
    "The core claim in this case is that plaintiff's employer, MSNBC Cable LLC ("MSNBC") was insufficiently accommodating of plaintiff's desire to pump breast milk in the workplace so that she could breast feed her child while also returning to work promptly after childbirth.” 


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