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MomTalk.com November 19, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Rights in the Workplace: Mom Talks Law

Q: I will soon be returning to work after a 3 month maternity leave, and I will need to pump breast-milk for my baby daughter while I am at work. I understand I am legally allowed to pump at work, but I am unclear about the specifics. How can I find out more?


A: It might be a good idea to contact your boss or human resources department before going back to work to make sure they are prepared for your need to express milk prior to your return. Depending on size of the employer โ€“ they may or may not be equipped to accommodate you on your first day back. Regardless, though, in Minnesota, and many other states, employers of any size are required to support new moms with pumping.


There are a couple specifics to keep in mind about this law. First, while employers are required to provide unpaid break time for expressing breast milk, they can ask that break time run concurrently with any other breaks you are given. So, if you already receive break time during the day, you can be required to use that time to express breast milk โ€“ where such a request is reasonable. Also, in addition to requiring that employers provide time for expressing breast-milk, the law also mandates that they provide a private location for expressing breast-milk - other than a toilet stall.


Finally, remember that employer policies can sometimes be more generous than the law requires. Consult company policy provisions and company representatives to get a clear picture of your rights and obligations.

See Minnesota Statute ยง 181.939 for all the details of Minnesota's law, and, for more information of breastfeeding laws in all 50 states, visit this summary put together by the National Conference of State Legislatures.


DISCLAIMER โ€“ The contents of this column are not legal advice. The information contained herein is intended to increase awareness and understanding of basic legal issues and to provide a starting point for the reader's reference. Legal columns like this one are not an appropriate substitute for contacting an attorney about your specific situation.


Twin Cities attorney Leondra Hanson, an instructor at Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, discusses the legal issues facing parents and answers your questions about the law and your life. If you'd like to ask Leondra a question, please submit it here.


You can also visit Leondra at her personal web log, Mommy Tracks, where she observes - sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously, but always honestly - life in the perplexing role of mother.



Categories: Babies, Advice, Ideas & Stories, Family,

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