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Lactation Rights and Resources for Employees

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, lactating mothers (faculty and staff) have the following rights:

  • The right to reasonable break times (to include travel time to lactation site; time to retrieve necessary supplies; and any other necessary steps) to express breast milk for 1 year after a child's birth;
  • The right to access a space, other than a bathroom, that has a lock, is shielded from view, and is free from intrusion to use for expressing milk or breast feeding.
Employees and supervisors should work together to ensure that the rights of the lactating mother are met and the functions of the department or office are disrupted as little as possible.

Lactating mothers will:
  • Let their supervisor know whether they would like to breast feed at work (which may include in a private office), express milk at work, or visit their child in a nearby location
  • Work with their supervisor to establish reasonable times each day to breast feed or express milk that do not unduly disrupt the operations of the department or office
  • Work lactation breaks around scheduled class times (for faculty)

Supervisors will:

  • Make sure they are aware of employees' rights
  • Allow reasonable break times to include travel time to the lactation site, and may include two to three breaks during an eight-hour shift, for the mother to express breast milk or breast feed
  • Work with the employee to establish reasonable times each day for lactation that do not unduly disrupt the operations of the department or office
  • Assist the employee in finding a suitable space on campus to express milk or breast feed, if the employee does not have access to a private office and prefers to express milk ore breast feed at work.  Further information about suitable locations is provided below.  

If an employee or her child has a health condition that requires additional time to breast feed, or breaks to express milk on a schedule, she should contact Debbie Howe, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer [[dmhowe]] to seek an accommodation.

The following on-campus locations have rooms that may be used for lactation.  For more information about specific room locations and to coordinate use of the space, please reach out to the contact person listed below. 

Hornsby House
Bobbi Jo Stevens  [[bcstevens]] (757)221-2615

School of Education
Liz Kiewiet [[ejkiew]] (757)221-6027 *Room 1105 is accessible to anyone and can be locked from the inside

Libby MacDonald [[ehmacd]] (804) 684-7201

Law School
Room 248
Sara McNeil [[smmcneil]] (757) 221-1423
Dan Scianandre [[dmsciandre]] (757) 221-1514

School of Business
Josh Andelin [[m|jandelin]]
(757) 221-4665 *Room 2027A can be used for this purpose; call to coordinate use

Swem Library (757) 221-3072
Room 308, located on the third floor; Access to the room is available during library operating hours, and is available on a first come first serve basis.  To use the room, check out the key at the Circulation Desk on the first floor.  You will need to show an ID to check out the key (W&M ID or Driver's License).

Updated August 2021