In August of 2008, Colorado’s Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act (C.R.S. § 8- 13.5) took effect. The statute proclaimed Colorado as one of the states “involved in the national movement to recognize the medical importance of breastfeeding, within the scope of complete pediatric care, and to encourage removal of boundaries placed on nursing mothers in the workplace.”
Some of the rights guaranteed by the passage of that state legislation include:
- The employer providing reasonable break time for an employee to express milk, and
- The employer making reasonable effort to provide a private room or other location (“other than a toilet stall”) in which an employee can pump milk.
Furthermore, the statue holds that Colorado’s employers must provide these accommodations for a nursing mother for up to two years after a child’s birth.
On the federal level, in 2010, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to include a provision entitled “Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers,” 29 U.S.C. § 207(r), which provides that an employer shall provide “a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child” and “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.” As also provided by both Colorado and the federal statute, the employer is not required to pay the employee for work time spent expressing breast milk.
The Colorado Springs employment law attorneys at Sears & Associates, P.C. are here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities when following these relatively-recent laws. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a Colorado employment law attorney: 719-419-9246.
For more information, please read my article on pages 8 and 9 of the June 2019 edition of Pikes Peak Lawyer, “Lactation Litigation: A New Trend in Employment Law.”