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Business Keeping "Abreast" Of Mom's Needs: New Law Offers Nursing Moms A Break At Work Based On New Health Reform.

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Good news for working moms. Part of the new health care reform makes it mandatory for employers to allow nursing moms some time off and some private space for pumping breast milk. And, while this legally required break time will be UNPAID, those who sponsored the legislation are calling it a "revolution in American culture".

They note that until recently there has been little to no discussion, concern, or emphasis on accommodating the needs of nursing moms at work.

The law was proposed back in 2007 and will serve as the model for the federal law. Overall 24 states, the modeled their law around it including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. However the federal law will not supersede individual state laws that offer more, such as paid breaks for nursing moms.

While the law was effective immediate upon President Obama's signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23rd...several details have yet to be worked out, especially in regards to compliance , enforcement, and recourse for those who feel their needs are not being met by their employer.

A "Fact Sheet" put forth by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division offered some general rules, guidelines and information regarding the new law.

They are as follows:

•Employers must provide "reasonable break time" for an employee to express breast milk until her nursing child turns 1. Advocates say nursing mothers need about a half-hour break for every four hours worked.

•Employers must be flexible as far as the timing and length of breaks needed by nursing mothers to express milk.

•Although a bathroom is not a permissible space, employers don't need a dedicated lactation center, as long as a suitable temporary space is available when needed by a nursing mother.

•Companies with fewer than 50 workers don't have to give breast-feeding breaks if they can show that doing so would impose an "undue hardship."

The new legislation pertains only to ladies earning an hourly wage and not those on salary, though some states extend the benefits to both. In fact, some states include the (new) breast-feeding laws and regulation into their family-leave policy and plan....making the focus on offering more time off more of a medical necessity rather than simply a "break".

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Business Keeping "Abreast" Of Mom's Needs: New Law Offers Nursing Moms A Break At Work Based On New Health Reform.

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