New mothers have a right to pump breast milk at work

Many employers are still unaware that new mothers have a legal right to express breast milk at work.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be allowed reasonable break time to pump breast milk for nursing children. In general, employees are entitled to do this until the child is a year old, in a private place other than a bathroom. Discriminating against a worker because of her need to breastfeed might also be grounds for a sex discrimination lawsuit.

Many states have similar laws, and in some cases these state laws provide more rights to new mothers than the federal law.

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