Lactation Accommodation Handbook Statement: Maine
When to Include
Maine employers should consider including this statement in their handbook to show compliance and support for the Maine law requiring that employers provide unpaid break time and private locations for employees to express breast milk.
Customizable Handbook Statement
The Company will provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's child. The Company will provide this break time for up to three years following the birth of the child. If possible, nursing mothers should take time to express breast milk during their regular meal and/or rest breaks. Break time for this purpose will be unpaid for nonexempt employees.
The Company will make reasonable efforts to provide employees with the use of a clean, private location, other than a toilet stall, to express milk. Employees should discuss with their supervisor, a Human Resources representative [or insert name of appropriate company representative or department] the location to express and store their breast milk and to make any other arrangements under this policy.
Employees should provide reasonable notice to the Company that they intend to take breaks for expressing breast milk upon returning to work.
The Company will not demote, terminate or otherwise take adverse action against an employee who requests or makes use of the accommodations and break time described in this policy.
Guidance for Employers
- This statement is intended to be used in conjunction with a national Lactation Accommodation policy statement.
- Employers subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to provide a private place and rest breaks to mothers who wish to express breast milk for one year after the child's birth. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to comply with the FLSA's lactation accommodation and break requirements if doing so would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense. The federal law also applies only to nonexempt employees, but the Maine law does not have that limitation.
- Maine's law also differs from the FLSA in that Maine employers must provide a nursing mother with reasonable break time to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following the birth of the child.
- The break time needed to express breast milk may be paid or unpaid and may run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee.
- Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location close to the work area (other than a toilet stall) to express breast milk. This may include an employee's normal work space if it meets these requirements.
- Employers can consider implementing a system for tracking the use of lactation areas to account for an employee's time actually spent on break and for scheduling room usage to avoid multiple people needing to use the area at the same time.
- For many employers, it can be difficult to find the appropriate space to satisfy lactation accommodation requirements. Consult legal counsel for assistance evaluating options for compliant accommodation practices.
- Do not discriminate in any way against employees who choose to express breast milk in the workplace.
- Train supervisors on the provisions of this law.