Break Time for Nursing Mothers
University Policy Number 2231
Categorized: Human Resources and Payroll
Policy Procedure: N/A
Related Law & Policy:
- University Policy 2202: Flexible Work
- DHRM Policy 1.25: Hours of Work
- Department of Labor FAQ on Break Time for Nursing Mothers
- Virginia HJ 145 Employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Virginia Code § 2.2-1147.1 (Right to breast-feed)
This policy applies to all employees of George Mason University.
II. Policy Statement
The University will provide all employees who are Nursing Mothers with reasonable break time for expressing breast milk during working hours. This policy extends the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act requiring break time for Nursing Mothers to all University employees, exempt and non-exempt.
Breastfeed: means to feed a baby with milk directly from the breast.
Expressing (of breastmilk): the process by which a woman expels milk from her breast. The breastmilk can then be stored and fed to her baby at a later point in time.
Lactation Room: means a dedicated or non-dedicated private space used by Nursing Mothers to express milk. Lactation Rooms must be private, shielded from view, and not located in a restroom or common area.
Nursing Mother: means any individual who is currently breastfeeding or expressing breast milk for their child.
Supervisors must work with Nursing Mothers to determine the necessary, reasonable break times, or flexible scheduling, required to accommodate their unique needs. The number of breaks needed to express breastmilk depends on numerous factors such as the number of feedings and age of the child. A nursing mother will typically need two to three breaks during an eight hour period; however, more break times may be necessary. Supervisors will exercise as much schedule flexibility as reasonably possible to accommodate the Nursing Mother’s needs.
Supervisors must also work with their employees to help coordinate a Lactation Room.
Nursing Mothers must provide adequate notice to their supervisor or designee of their request for lactation support (i.e. lactation room, flexible work, break time, etc.) and communicate their unique needs.
Nursing Mothers are responsible for storage of expressed milk while on campus. The University is not responsible for the integrity or security of breast milk stored in any refrigerator on campus.
A. Effective Date:
This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.
B. Date of Most Recent Review:
VII. Timetable for Review
This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every year or more frequently as needed.
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
Provost and Executive Vice President