New mothers in Connecticut are being supported by changes to state law designed to help them breastfeed safely and comfortably.
Recent changes to state employment laws mandated that employers allow mothers to “express breast milk or breastfeed on site at her workplace during her meal or break period.” Employers were also instructed that they “shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk in private.”
However, state legislatures have strengthened these laws to provide additional accommodations regarding mandated lactation rooms. According to the new statute, “provided there is no undue hardship, (a lactation room) or other location shall be free from intrusion and shielded from the public while such employee expresses breast milk.”
Additionally, new state laws mandate that such a room be “situated near a refrigerator or employee-provided portable cold storage device in which the employee can store her breast milk, and include access to an electrical outlet.”
These changes will help ensure that employers go beyond meeting the bare minimum legal requirement and instead provide a space that is both private and reasonably comfortable.
While employers may still contest this on the basis of undue hardship (claiming the business is too small or lacks the resources to comply) that is typically a high legal bar to clear.
Employees who believe their rights under these new laws are being violated — or employers who have questions about compliance — should contact a Connecticut attorney that specializes in employment law. By doing so, both parties can ensure that the law is working as intended, and that both mothers and state businesses are protected.