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State Lactation Break Requirements

Under federal law, all lactating employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are entitled to reasonable break time and a private location, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion to express milk for two years following the birth of a child.

Employees are not entitled to compensation for the break time unless otherwise required under state or federal law. However, break time is considered hours worked if employees are not completely relieved from duty during the entirety of the break.

Lactation break requirements under state law are detailed below.

State

Requirements

Alabama

No Alabama law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Alaska

No Alaska law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Arizona

No Arizona law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Arkansas

Employees may take reasonable, unpaid break time to express breast milk. This break time will run concurrently with any paid or unpaid break time already provided to the employee, to the extent possible.

Employers need to make reasonable efforts to provide a private, secure, and sanitary place (other than a toilet stall) close to the work area for the employee needing to express milk.  This space may include the employee’s normal workspace if the employee’s normal workspace meets the requirements described above.

An employer may be exempted from these requirements if it can demonstrate that the accommodation would create an undue hardship.

California

Employers must provide a reasonable amount of unpaid break time to express breast milk.

Employers must provide a private location, other than a bathroom, which is shielded from view, free from intrusion and in close proximity to the employee’s work area, to express breast milk. The location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements above.

The lactation location must:

  • be safe, clean, and free of hazardous materials;
  • contain a surface to place a breast pump and personal items;
  • contain a place to sit; and
  • have access to electricity or alternative devices needed to operate an electric or battery-powered breast pump.

Employers must also provide access to a sink with running water and a refrigerator suitable for storing milk in close proximity to the employee’s workspace.

An employer with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from any of the lactation location requirements if it can demonstrate that the requirement would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.

An employer is not required to provide break time if doing so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.

Colorado

Employees may take reasonable unpaid break time or use paid break time to express breast milk for up to two years after the child’s birth.

Employers need to make reasonable efforts to provide a private space (other than a toilet stall) near the employee’s work area for expressing breast milk.

An employer may be exempted from the requirements if it can demonstrate that the accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, the financial resources of the business, or the nature and structure of its operation.

Connecticut

An employee may express breast milk or breastfeed on site at their workplace during a meal or break period.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a private location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express her milk.

An employer may be exempted from the requirements if they would impost significant difficulty or expense.

Delaware

Employers must provide reasonable break time and appropriate facilities for expressing breast milk, unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would impose significant difficulty or expense.

Florida

No Florida law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Georgia

Employees may take reasonable break time to express breast milk during work hours. The break time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of compensation.  A salaried employee’s pay may not be reduced, and they may not be required to use paid leave during the break time.

Employers need to provide a private place (other than a restroom) where the employee can express breast milk in privacy at the worksite.

An employer with fewer than 50 employees may be excused from these requirements if it can demonstrate that they would impose an undue hardship by causing it significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of its business.

Hawaii

Employees may take reasonable break time to express milk for one year after the child’s birth.

Employers need to provide a location, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from the intrusion of coworkers for employees to express breast milk.

An employer with fewer than 20 employees may be excused from these requirements if it can demonstrate that they would impose an undue hardship by causing it significant difficulty or expense in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of its business.

Idaho

No Idaho law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Illinois

Employees may take reasonable break time to express milk for one year after their child’s birth. The break time may run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. The employee’s compensation may not be reduced for the time used to express breast milk.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a place (other than a toilet stall) near the employee’s work area where the employee can express milk in privacy.

An employer may be exempted from providing these requirements if it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its program, enterprise, or business.

Indiana

No Indiana law requires employers to provide lactation breaks.

Employers with at least 25 employees must provide the following, to the extent it is reasonably possible:

  • a place (other than a toilet stall) where an employee can express breast milk in privacy during any period away from their assigned duties;
  • a refrigerator or other cold storage space for keeping milk that has been expressed or allow the employee to provide their own portable cold storage device for keeping the expressed milk.

Iowa

No Iowa law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Kansas

No Kansas law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Kentucky

Employers with 15 or more employees within the state must provide reasonable accommodations for lactation, including break time and private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk, unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would impose undue hardship.

Louisiana

Employers with at least 25 employees must be provide with the following, to the extent it is reasonably possible:

  • reasonable break time to express milk for one year after their child’s birth
  • a private place (other than a bathroom stall) to express milk.

Maine

Employees may take reasonable unpaid breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time each day to express milk for their nursing child for up to three years following childbirth.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a clean and private location, other than a bathroom, where an employee may express breast milk.

Maryland

No Maryland law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Massachusetts

Employees may request reasonable accommodations, including break time and private space, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk. Employers cannot deny such a request, unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodations would impose an undue hardship.

Michigan

No Michigan law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Minnesota

Employees may take reasonable breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time, each day to express breast milk for one year following the birth of a child. The break times must, if possible, run concurrently with any break times already provided to the employee.  The employee’s compensation may not be reduced for the time used to express breast milk.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other private location near the employee’s work area, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, and that includes access to an electrical outlet, where the employee can express milk.

An employer is not required to provide the accommodations noted above if it can demonstrate that doing so would unduly disrupt its operations.

Mississippi

Employees may express milk during any meal period or other break provided by their employer.

Missouri

No Missouri law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Montana

No Montana law requires private employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Nebraska

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations, including break time and appropriate facilities for expressing breast milk, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodations would require significant difficulty or expense, thereby posing an undue hardship upon the employer.

Nevada

Employees may take reasonable breaks or use available paid or unpaid break time each day to express breast milk for one year after their child’s birth.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a restroom, that is reasonably free from dirt or pollution, protected from the view of others, and free from intrusion by others for an employee to express breast milk.

An employer with fewer than 50 employees may be exempted from these requirements if it can demonstrate that they would impose an undue hardship.

New Hampshire

No New Hampshire law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

New Jersey

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees needing to express breast milk, including break time and a suitable place, other than a toilet stall, with privacy and within reasonable proximity to the employee’s work area, unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would be an undue hardship.

New Mexico

Employees may take reasonable breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time each day to express milk for their nursing child.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a restroom, that is clean, private, and near the employee’s work area for the employee to express breast milk.

New York

Up until June 6, 2023: Employers are required to provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to allow to express breast milk, for up to three years following childbirth. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy.

On or after June 7, 2023:  Employers are required to provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time to express breast milk each time the employee has reasonable need to express breast milk for up to three years following child birth.

Employers must provide a room or other location, other than a restroom or toilet stall, which is in close proximity to the work area, well lit, shielded from view and free from intrusion from other persons in the workplace or the public. The room or other location must provide a chair, a working surface, and nearby access to clean running water.  If the workplace is supplied with electricity or access to refrigeration, the room or other location must include an electrical outlet and access to refrigeration for the storing of breast milk.

If compliance with the requirements above would impose an undue hardship, an employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a restroom or toilet stall, that is in close proximity to the work area where an employee can express breast milk in privacy.

North Carolina

No North Carolina law requires private employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

North Dakota

No North Dakota law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Ohio

No Ohio law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Oklahoma

No Oklahoma law requires private employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Oregon

Employers must provide reasonable unpaid rest periods to employees needing to express milk for their child.  Employees may take reasonable breaks as needed, or use available paid or unpaid break time, to express breast milk for up to 18 months following childbirth.

Employees seeking to express milk at work should, when possible, provide notice of intent to express milk upon returning to work, after the child’s birth and, to the extent feasible, should use rest periods or meal periods that are otherwise provided by the employer.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a toilet stall or public restroom, that is close to the employee’s work area for the employee to express milk in private.  The location may include:

  • the employee’s work area if the work area meets the requirements discussed above;
  • a room connected to a public restroom, such as a lounge, if the room allows the employee to express milk in private; or
  • a child care facility in close proximity to the employee’s work location where the employee can express milk in private.

Although the employee is responsible for storing the expressed milk, the employer must allow the employee to bring a cooler or other insulated food container to work for storing the expressed milk and ensure there is adequate space in the workplace to accommodate the employee’s cooler or insulated food container. If the employer allows employees access to refrigeration for personal use, the employer may allow, but cannot require, an employee who expresses milk during work hours to use the available refrigeration to store the expressed milk.

An employer may be exempted from these requirements if it can demonstrate that the required accommodations would result in significant difficulty or expense.

Pennsylvania

No Pennsylvania law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Rhode Island

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations, including more frequent or longer breaks, and a private non-bathroom space, to employees needing to express breast milk, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose an undue hardship on its program, enterprise, or business.

South Carolina

Employees may take reasonable breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time, each day to express milk. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee, and the employee must make reasonable efforts to minimize disruption to the employer’s operations.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place near the employee’s work area, other than a toilet stall, for the employee to express breast milk in privacy.

An employer may be exempted from these requirements if it can demonstrate that doing so would create an undue hardship on its operations.

South Dakota

No South Dakota law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Tennessee

Employees may take reasonable breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time, each day to express milk. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place, other than a toilet stall, that is near the employee’s work area, for an employee to express breast milk in privacy.

An employer may be exempted from the requirements if it can demonstrate that doing so would unduly disrupt the its operations.

Texas

No Texas law requires private employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Utah

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide employees needing to express milk due to childbirth reasonable accommodations upon request unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would create an undue hardship on its operations.

Vermont

Employees may take reasonable breaks, or use available paid or unpaid break time, throughout the day, to express breast milk for up to three years following childbirth.

Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide appropriate private space, other than a bathroom stall, for an employee to express breast milk.

An employer may be exempted from the requirements if it can demonstrate that doing so would substantially disrupt its operations.

Virginia

Employers must provide employees needing to express milk due to childbirth reasonable accommodations upon request, such as more frequent or longer bathroom breaks, breaks to express breast milk, access to a private location other than a bathroom for the expression of breast milk.

Washington

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations to employees needing to express breast milk, for up to two years following childbirth unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s program, enterprise, or business.

Reasonable accommodations may include breaks to express breast milk, access to a private location other than a bathroom for the employee to express breast milk.  If the worksite does not have such a space, the employer must work with the employee to identify a convenient location and work schedule to accommodate their needs.

West Virginia

No West Virginia law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Wisconsin

No Wisconsin law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

Wyoming

No Wyoming law requires employers to provide lactation breaks or space to express breast milk.

District of Columbia

Employers must provide reasonable daily break periods to express breast milk, as needed by the employee. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary, private, and secure location in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, to express breast milk.

An employer may be excused from these requirements if it can demonstrate undue hardship.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only.
It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.