Lactation Policy for Students
Statement of Policytop
New York University (“NYU” or the “University”) supports students who are parents and values the contributions and perspectives these students bring to its academic community. The University recognizes the importance of maintaining a balance between family and academic pursuits, while also recognizing the challenges involved in achieving this balance. In an effort to support the well-being and success of parenting students, this policy is designed specifically to support students who wish to express breast milk during the course of their academic studies by providing them with the flexibility to do so on campus, including when they are fulfilling their academic obligations. This policy addresses access to lactation rooms on campus and sets forth procedures for requesting reasonable adjustments to academic obligations so that a student can express breast milk.
To Whom the Policy Applies
This policy covers all students who wish to express breast milk during the course of their academic studies. This policy does not apply to:
● Student employees who need to express breast milk during work hours. Student employees are covered during such times by NYU’s employee policy, Lactation Policy – New York, District of Columbia, and California.
● Students at NYU School of Medicine, who are covered by a separate policy of NYU Langone Health.
Policy and Procedures
I. Policy on Access and Academic Adjustments
NYU provides access to lactation rooms to students who wish to express breast milk on campus and provides the flexibility for students to meet both their academic obligations and their lactation needs, as set forth in this policy.
General Access to Lactation Rooms. Students who wish to use a lactation room(s) to express breast milk on the New York campus may do so by reviewing the publicly available listing of lactation rooms and, where applicable, signing up for a scheduled time to use such a room. The public listing is available at NYU Lactation Rooms (NYU login required); see further details on Space and Facilities in Section II, below. Students who encounter any issues regarding lactation room availability, proximity, access protocols, or otherwise, should submit a formal request for access under the procedures set forth in Section III of this policy. Such a request will allow NYU address and facilitate the resolution of any issues.
Students at other campuses should contact the Work Life office at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about lactation room access outside of the New York campus.
Academic Adjustments to Allow Time for Lactation. It is NYU policy to allow reasonable adjustments to academic obligations to allow a student to express breast milk and that a student’s educational opportunities not be diminished as a result of the student’s reasonable lactation needs.
Students who need to request an adjustment to academic obligations in order to express breast milk should contact the respective faculty member(s) with as much advance notice as possible to arrange for an adjustment. A doctor’s note may not be required absent direction from the Work Life Office. Depending on the circumstances, adjustments may include, but are not limited to, an extension of time during an exam or situating the location of an exam to allow for a break to use a lactation room and excusing reasonable absences from class or providing opportunities to make up any missed work due to lactation needs. The duration of such adjustments can vary depending on the personal and physical needs of the student, but in general, a reasonable adjustment would allow, at minimum, 30 minutes to express milk approximately every three hours. All adjustments should be determined with a sensitivity to flexibility and NYU’s commitment to supporting parenting students.
II. Space and Facilities
A lactation room, and a refrigerator suitable for breast milk storage, shall be available to students. A lactation room for purposes of this policy means a sanitary place, other than a restroom, that can be used to express breast milk shielded from view and free from intrusion, and that includes at minimum:
1. An electrical outlet;
2. A chair;
3. A surface on which to place a breast pump and other personal items; and
4. Nearby access to running water.
Each lactation room 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. To ensure privacy, the room should have a door equipped with a functional lock. If a door with a functional lock is not available, a sign shall be posted advising that the room is in use and not accessible to others. The University must maintain the cleanliness of a lactation room.
The University is not responsible for ensuring the safekeeping of expressed milk stored in any refrigerator on its premises. The student is required to store all expressed milk in closed containers, regardless of the method of storage, and to bring such milk home each evening.
NYU’s New York campus has dedicated lactation rooms that accord to the standards set forth in this Policy. A valid NYU ID card must be presented for access, and some rooms require a reservation in advance. The room listing and scheduling requirements, where applicable, are available at NYU Lactation Rooms (NYU login required). Another room or location (such as a vacant office or other available room) also may be used as a lactation room, provided that the room/location otherwise accords to the standards set forth in this Policy. As a last resort, a cubicle may be made available as a lactation room, provided that the cubicle is fully enclosed with a partition, with walls at least seven feet tall, and otherwise accords to the standards set forth in this Policy. If a room designated to serve as a lactation room is also used for another purpose, the sole function of the room shall be as a lactation room while the student is using the room to express breast milk. When the room is being used to express milk, the University shall provide notice to others that the room is given preference for use as a lactation room.
The Associate Vice Provost’s Work Life office oversees the procedures for any issues regarding access to lactation rooms and facilitating arrangements to ensure students are provided the flexibility to meet both their academic obligations and their lactation needs. The procedures are as follows:
1. Students whose lactation needs are not being met by NYU’s existing dedicated lactation rooms, whether due to availability, proximity, access protocols, or otherwise, should make a formal request to the Work Life office at email@example.com. The request should explain the vicinity within which the student wishes to use a lactation room(s) on campus, the anticipated days and times, and any other issues. The Work Life office may consult with relevant administrators, as necessary and appropriate, to evaluate and facilitate the request, and will respond to the student’s request within a reasonable amount of time, generally not to exceed five (5) business days.
2. When a scheduling conflict arises involving two or more individuals who wish to use a lactation room at the same, the Work Life office will determine the process for the use of the room (in consultation with the relevant Human Resource Officer if an NYU employee is one of the individuals also requesting the room, as provided in the Lactation Policy for employees). The Work Life office will discuss options with the student(s) to determine what arrangement will address each individual’s needs. Options may include: finding an alternative space; sharing the space among multiple users; or creating a schedule for use. Any accommodation will ensure each person is afforded a reasonable amount of time to pump.
3. If a student has requested an adjustment to an academic obligation but is encountering difficulty in any aspect of their request (including timing issues), the student should contact the Work Life office for help facilitating the request. The Work Life office may consult with relevant faculty members and administrators, as necessary and appropriate, in order to assist the student. The Office of the Associate Vice Provost has authority to determine the appropriateness of any adjustment.
New York University is committed to equal treatment and opportunity for its students and to maintaining an environment that is free of bias, prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The University’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures for Students prohibits discrimination and harassment based on a number of characteristics, including sex and pregnancy, and establishes complaint procedures for allegations involving students. It is a violation of that policy to discriminate or harass a student on the basis of lactation status.
V. Related Policies
About This Policy
Effective Date Supersedes N/A Issuing Authority Office of the Provost Responsible Officer Executive Director of Work Life; Assistant Vice President Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator