It’s a topic of debate in many circles, and a lot of new moms don’t know what rights and protections are afforded them with regard to nursing their children. Recently, attorney Bryan Waldman appeared on WLNS Legal Edge to discuss breastfeeding laws in Michigan and the accommodations working mothers are legally entitled to.
Federal Breastfeeding Laws
Under the Michigan statute known as the breastfeeding anti-discrimination law, nursing mothers are afforded the right to breastfeed both in private and in public. This statute mandates that any business with services or accommodations to the public can’t discriminate against someone because they are breastfeeding. Businesses are required to offer the same services and treatment to nursing moms as any other patron. This statute is similar to those in other states.
Workplace Provisions for Nursing Michigan Moms
Michigan is in the minority of states in that there are currently no workplace breastfeeding laws on the state level. While many other states have individual state laws, Michigan moms are protected under the 2010 federal amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. This federal statute mandates that an employer provide a private breakroom for a nursing mother to pump. Further, this room has to be private, in a place that is uninterrupted, and bathrooms don’t count. While the law requires employers to provide this accommodation, it doesn’t require them to pay the employee for these breaks. Exceptions to this law include employers with 50 employees or fewer who can demonstrate this statute creates a hardship for their business.
Takeaways – Breastfeeding Laws in Michigan
- Protected through state laws to nurse in private and public
- Businesses are not allowed to discriminate against nursing mothers
- Working moms entitled to a quiet, private room for pumping via federal law
- Employers must provide accommodations but aren’t required to pay an employee for pumping breaks