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Mother-Friendly Worksite

The Law

Breastfeeding is supported by both Texas and federal law.

Texas Law

A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Texas Health and Safety Code Title 2, Chapter 165 Breast-Feeding

Subchapter A. Breast-feeding Rights and Policies

Sec. 165.001. LEGISLATIVE FINDING. The legislature finds that breast-feeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values. In compliance with the breast-feeding promotion program established under the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. Section 1771 et seq.), the legislature recognizes breast-feeding as the best method of infant nutrition.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., Ch. 600, SS1, eff. Aug . 28, 1995.

  • Sec. 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

  1. A business may use the designation "mother-friendly" in its promotional materials if the business develops a policy supporting the practice of worksite breast-feeding that addresses the following:
    1. work schedule flexibility, including scheduling breaks and work patterns to provide time for expression of milk;
    2. the provision of accessible locations allowing privacy;
    3. access nearby to a clean, safe water source and a sink for washing hands and rinsing out any needed breast-pumping equipment;
    4. access to hygienic storage alternatives in the workplace for the mother's breast milk.
  2. The business shall submit its breast-feeding policy to the department. The department shall maintain a list of "mother-friendly" businesses covered under this section and shall make the list available for public inspection.

Sec. 165.004. SERVICES PROVIDED BY STATE AGENCIES. Any state agency that administers a program providing maternal or child health services shall provide information that encourages breast-feeding to program participants who are pregnant women or mothers with infants.

Federal Law

The Law

Many businesses that are actively working to address federal requirements may already meet the criteria to voluntarily become recognized as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite.

The federal law provides that employees who work for employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and are not exempt from section 7 - which sets forth the FLSA's overtime pay requirements - are entitled to a reasonable amount of break time and a space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, for up to one year following the birth of the employee's child.

Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act - Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision

Effective March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the FLSA to require employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk after the birth of her child. The amendment also requires that employers provide a place for an employee to express breast milk.

Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

  1. An employer shall provide
    1. a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and
    2. a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
  2. An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.
  3. An employer that employs fewer than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer's business.
  4. Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.

Questions About the Federal Law?

Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division online or call their help line at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).