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Lactation/Breastfeeding Breaks and Facility Accommodation Requirements by State and Municipality

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

Various federal, state and local laws require an employer to provide accommodations for employees who are lactating/breastfeeding, typically in the form of breaks and a private location or space for expressing breast milk.

The following chart provides an overview of federal, state and local requirements with regard to lactation/breastfeeding break time and facility accommodations, including any available employer defenses and applicable notice, posting and policy requirements. These requirements may be found within an antidiscrimination or fair employment practices law or in a discrete, standalone law.

Some states have both an antidiscrimination law and a discrete law requiring lactation/breastfeeding accommodations, while in other states, lactation/breastfeeding support by employers is only encouraged, but not required. Any such supplemental laws are covered in the Additional/Related Protections column.

States that have no requirements regarding lactation/breastfeeding breaks and accommodations are marked N/A in the chart. In the absence of state or local requirements, federal rules may apply.

An employer may also be subject to federal, state or local equal employment opportunity laws that prohibit discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on lactation/breastfeeding. Such laws may require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, beyond the accommodations required for lactation/breastfeeding as referenced above.