Human Resources

Policy Title
Break Time for Nursing Mothers Fact Sheet
Policy Description
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Obama and amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Act requires covered employers to provide lactation breaks to certain employees.
Policy Procedures
General Requirements
·  Winthrop University must provide “reasonable break time for nursing mothers” to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to one (1) year after the child’s birth. 
·  The University must provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by a nonexempt employee to express breast milk.”
Coverage and Compensation
·  Only nonexempt employees are entitled to breaks to express milk.
·  The University is not required to compensate for breaks taken to express breast milk; however, if a nonexempt employee generally receives a paid break and uses that time to express breast milk, the nonexempt employee must be compensated in the same manner as other nonexempt employees are for the break time. 
·  Nonexempt employees may also use leave without pay or annual leave for breaks to express milk.
·  Nonexempt employees must be completely relieved from duty to express breast milk if the break is not compensated.
Time and Location of Breaks
·  A bathroom is not a permissible location for expressing breast milk according to the law.  The space may be a temporary or converted space and only needs to be available when the nursing mother needs it.  The space must be shielded from intrusions by other co-workers and the general public, and should include a chair, an electrical outlet for breast pumps, and a door lock.
·  Nonexempt employees should discuss with their supervisor the frequency of breaks necessary and how much time is needed for each break.  All reasonable requests may not be refused. 
·  Nonexempt employees may work, in collaboration with their supervisor, to determine a suitable area in their departments that may be utilized to express breast milk; or nonexempt employees may use the Lactation Room that is available in the Dacus Library. 
·  Supervisors may not retaliate against nonexempt employees who request lactation breaks. 
·  Please address questions to the Office of Human Resources at (803) 323-2273, or via email at

Policy Author(s)
Human Resources, Employee Diversity and Wellness
Effective Date
March 2011
Review Date
October 2016