Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act
On August 22, 2007 New York State amended the labor law by adding a new section that provides for the rights of nursing mothers who wish to express milk at work. The legislation ensures that nursing mothers are supported in workplaces across the State, and identifies the employer's obligation. NYU conforms to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which provides break time for nursing mothers as extended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which took effect on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148).
New York University supports the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace. NYU has had a long practice to make the best effort to accommodate requests from nursing mothers for uncompensated time and a private space to express breast milk during the work day. For more information, including the location of NYU's Nursing Rooms, please go to www.nyu.edu/employees/life-wellness/child-elder-care.html
Responsibility of Employees
Requests for time off to express milk: As a nursing mother, you should engage in a dialogue with your Supervisor when making requests for an accommodation to express breast milk. Such requests will be handled as a request for a flexible work schedule. You may request for reasonable unpaid break time and/or use your paid breaks or meal times for this purpose. Time used to express milk may be made up at the beginning or end of the day.
Amount of time needed: Generally, a maximum of 15 to 25 minutes three times a day should be sufficient. However, depending upon where the pumping space is located, some time may be needed to return to your work space.
Space and facilities: In the absence of a designated nursing mother room, you will need to work with your Supervisor to identify a space on your floor, in your building, or a nearby building that can meet your needs for a clean, private, comfortable space with an electrical outlet, chair and a table for the breast pump that has easy access to a sink with running water and paper towels. Since the breast milk will have to be refrigerated during the day, you should be prepared, if no refrigerator is available, to carry cold packs for personal storage of expressed milk.
Responsibility of Supervisors
Supervisors and co-workers are reminded to respect and be sensitive to an employee's choice to nurse as well as her other efforts to do what she considers best for her baby.
Managing time away from workstation: Supervisors are encouraged to work within the University policies regarding breaks and hours of work to accommodate employees who wish to express milk during the workday. A nursing mother's need for time off to express milk can be regarded as an employee requesting a flexible work schedule. You may grant reasonable requests for unpaid break time and/or the use of paid breaks or meal times for this purpose. Time used to express milk may be made up at the beginning or end of the day.
Amount of time needed: Generally, a maximum of 15 to 25 minutes three times a day should be sufficient for the employee. It is important to remember however that depending upon where the space is it may take some time for the employee to return to their work space. The employee should be able to tell you fairly reliably at what time she expects to need her break and how long it will take. However be prepared in the early weeks following her return to work to be somewhat flexible.
Space requirements: In the absence of a designated nursing mother room, you will need to use your best effort to identify a space on your floor, in your building, or a nearby building that can meet several key needs of a nursing mother. The room must provide a clean, private, comfortable space with an electrical outlet. Privacy can be ensured by installing a lock or a screen or curtain; a sign outside the door is a nice addition as well. The space should provide a comfortable chair and a table for the breast pump. Easy access to a sink with running water and paper towels is essential for the employee to wash her hands and clean the equipment. The breast milk will have to be refrigerated during the day. If you have a refrigerator on the premises it would be generous to provide space for the bottles. On the other hand, nursing mothers often carry cold packs for personal storage of expressed milk and can be asked to do so.
Nursing Mother / Lactation Rooms Available on NYU Campus
During Academic Year 2007-2008, the Child Care Initiatives Fund established three private spaces near Washington Square Park for nursing mothers. A private space is also available in Brooklyn. For information on locations and to register, please see the LiveSmart website www.nyu.edu/employees/life-wellness/child-elder-care.html.