What requirement is there under the ADA to provide accommodations for nursing mothers?
Under the ADA, a qualified person with a disability is someone who has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
Healthcare legislation, effective on March 23, 2010, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to accommodate nursing mothers with a lactation area for expressing milk during their child’s first year of life.
Legislation for nursing mothers, that is currently in place in 24 states, Puerto Rico and the district of Columbia, will supersede the Federal legislation if their requirements for employer accommodation of nursing mothers offer more stringent accommodation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 77 percent of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, but only about 16 percent of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively six months later. The law also establishes the Hospital Infant Feeding Act, which requires all general acute care hospitals and special hospitals that have perinatal units to have an infant-feeding policy and to clearly post that policy in the perinatal unit or on the hospital or health system website.