Workplace Breastfeeding Policies
"Each mother’s decision about how she feeds her baby is a personal one. Because of the ramifications of her decision on her baby’s health as well as her own, every mother in our nation deserves information, guidance, and support with this decision from her family and friends, the community where she lives, the health professionals on whom she relies, and her employer.”
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Section 7 of the FLSA requires 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.
Alaska Statute 29.25.080 Breastfeeding (1998): A municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. In a municipal ordinance, “lewd conduct,” “lewd touching,” “immoral conduct,” “indecent conduct,” and similar terms do not include the act of a woman breast-feeding a child in a public or private location where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize an act that is an offense under a municipal ordinance that establishes an offense with elements substantially equivalent to the elements of an offense under AS 11.61.123. This section is applicable to home rule and general law municipalities.
State of Alaska Internal Policy
AAM 280.460 Expressing Breast Milk at the Workplace (07-10): The State of Alaska recognizes the health and economic advantages of breastfeeding for infants and mothers and provides a supportive environment to enable employees who are nursing mothers to express milk during work hours.
Break Times and Locations
- Employees who are nursing mothers are allowed to express milk as needed. If an employee needs time in addition to the authorized break and lunch periods, she must adjust her work schedule with her supervisor’s approval, or she may take leave in accordance with the appropriate bargaining unit agreement and leave policy.
- A place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public shall be made available for employees to express breast milk.
- An employee wishing to express milk during her regular work hours shall keep her supervisor informed of her needs so that appropriate accommodations can be made to satisfy the needs of both the employee and the State as an employer.
- Nursing employees are responsible for keeping milk expression areas clean for the next user.
- Each nursing employee is responsible for proper storage of her milk. If a shared refrigerator is used, the employee should label expressed milk clearly with her name.
Other Related Breastfeeding Links