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Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which included an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA")--Section 4207--requiring reasonable break time for nursing mothers.  Section 4207 requires an employer to provide:

"(A)  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

"(B)  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 need not be compensated.  Additionally, this law generally only applies to employers with more than $500,000 in annual gross revenue, and those employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to this law if its requirements would cause an "undue hardship."  What constitutes a "reasonable break time" and an "undue hardship"?   That's what we lawyers will fight about and judges will decide.  Lastly, this law does not preempt state laws that may provide greater protections for employees than those provided by Section 4207.  GSF

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