• Working Mom

Break Time for Working Nursing Mothers

The Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), adding a legal requirement for employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk:

  •   Breaks permitted when the employee has a need to express the milk
  •   For one year after the child's birth

Employers are not required under the FLSA to compensate nursing mothers for breaks taken for the purpose of expressing milk. However, where employers already provide compensated breaks, an employee who uses that break time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time.

At ISU, we have generally considered breaks for new mothers to express milk to be paid breaks. The supervisor should work with the employee to support the necessary breaks and balance work assignments, given the need for breaks. If a supervisor feels that breaks are unreasonable, they must contact University Human Resources office of Employee/Labor Relations to discuss next steps.

The Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions provide basic information about the law.