Lactation Breaks For Exempt Employees
Included in the 2010 federal healthcare bill was a provision requiring time off for nursing mothers to express breast milk. See FLSA Lactation Breaks.
The new lactation break law was enacted as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 29 USC §207. There’s a big loophole, however, since §207 is the federal overtime requirement, and most “exempt employees” are exempt from this section of FLSA.
In other words, millions of exempt managers, administrators, professionals, computer analysts, and salespeople who aren’t covered by federal overtime rules also don’t qualify for reasonable unpaid breaks to express milk for their newborn babies, a right that is currently enjoyed by their non-exempt subordinates.
To fix this loophole, the Breastfeeding Promotion Act was recently introduced in Congress. According to US Representative Carolyn Maloney, “The expansion would cover an additional approximate 13.5 million executive, administrative, and professional women in the workplace.”