A lesser known provision of the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) provides mandatory break times for nursing mothers. Specifically, section 4207 of the PPACA amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide nursing mothers with a reasonable break time to express milk for a nursing child and a location to do so. The nursing location must be a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.
This new provision of the FLSA applies for the first year following a child’s birth. Employers are not required to compensate an employee receiving break time for any work time spent for such purpose.
This new provision will not apply to employers with less than 50 employees, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business.