Nursing Mothers in Workplace
The University supports and encourages the practice of breastfeeding and the expression of breastmilk by employees who are breastfeeding when they return to work.
Adelphi University, in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, adopts this policy to support the health and well-being of employees and their infant children by providing a workplace that supports a decision of an employee to breastfeed.
Reason for Policy
The University supports and encourages the practice of breastfeeding and the expression of breastmilk by employees who are breastfeeding when they return to work. Additionally, it is the policy of the University to prohibit discrimination and harassment of breastfeeding employees who exercise their rights under this policy.
Who Is Governed by this Policy
Faculty and Staff
Requests for time off to express milk
Nursing mothers who wish to express milk during the work period should keep supervisors informed of their needs so that appropriate accommodations can be made to satisfy the needs of both the employee and the department. Nursing mothers who feel they have been denied appropriate accommodations are encouraged to contact Human Resources.
Amount and frequency of time needed
The duration of a break can vary depending on the personal needs of the working mother. Generally, each break shall be no less than twenty to thirty minutes. Employees can elect to take shorter breaks for this purpose.
The number of breaks an employee will need to take for expression purposes varies depending on the amount of time the employee is separated from the nursing infant and the employee’s physical needs. The University shall provide break time at least once every three hours if requested by the employee.
Space and facilities
The University provides places that are shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public that an employee may use to express breast milk. Any room or location provided for the expression of breast milk must be in close proximity to the work area of the employee(s) using it for that purpose. Close proximity means the room or location must be in walking distance and the distance to the location should not appreciably lengthen the break time.
In accordance with the standards set forth in this policy, another room or location (other than a bathroom/restroom/toilet stall) also may be dedicated for the expression of breast milk and a schedule established to accommodate the needs of multiple employees needing access thereto. Should the University have more than one employee at a time needing access to a lactation room or other location, the University may dedicate a centralized location for use by all such employees, provided however, that the University shall make every effort to locate such space at a reasonable distance from the employees using it.
Where an employee is unable to access or use a dedicated lactation room or other location under this Policy, a vacant office or other available room may be used on a temporary basis for the expression of breast milk, provided the room is not accessible to the public or other employees while the employee is using the room for expression purposes. As a last resort, a cubicle may be made available for use by employees expressing breast milk, provided the cubicle is fully enclosed with a partition and is not otherwise accessible to the public or other employees while it is in use for expression purposes. (The cubicle walls shall be at least seven feet tall to ensure the nursing employee’s privacy.)
Minimum Standards & Expectations
Each room or other location used for the expression of breast milk under this Policy shall be well lit at all times through either natural or artificial light. If the room has a window, it shall be covered with a curtain, blind, or other covering to ensure privacy for the employee as they are expressing breast milk. The room shall contain, at a minimum, a chair and small table, desk, counter, or other flat surface. The University must maintain the cleanliness of the room or location set aside for the use of employees expressing breast milk at work. In addition, the University should make efforts to provide an outlet, clean water supply, and access to refrigeration for the purposes of storing the expressed milk.
To ensure privacy, the room or location should have a door equipped with a functional lock. If a door with a functional lock is not available (in the case of a fully enclosed cubicle) as a last resort the University shall utilize a sign advising the room or location is in use and not accessible to other employees or the public.
The University is not responsible for ensuring the safekeeping of expressed milk stored in any refrigerator on its premises. The employee is required to store all expressed milk in closed containers, regardless of the method of storage and to bring such milk home with her each evening.
It is unlawful to discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express milk in the workplace. Supervisors and co-workers are reminded to respect and be sensitive to an employee’s choice to nurse, as well as to her other efforts to do what she considers best for her child.
This policy does not have definitions associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.
Contact Human Resources.
This policy does not have forms associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.
- Last Reviewed Date: February 1, 2023
- Last Revised Date: August 16, 2023
- Policy Origination Date: October 23, 2017
Who Approved This Policy
John Siderakis, Chief Administrative Officer