It’s been federal law for three years now that employers must provide space and break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk at work.

But it’s only recently that the Department of Labor has revealed what it’s doing to enforce the law.

In a Freedom of Information Act disclosure, DOL said it did 54 investigations between March 2010 – when the law took effect – and June 2012.

Lack of adequate space
Two-thirds of the investigations – 36 of them – found violations. Some 29 involved an employer’s failure to provide adequate space for expressing milk. DOL said all 36 employers remedied the problems, three by paying back wages to women whose compensation was affected.

A reminder: The law, which is part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires that employers provide nursing mothers space that is:

  • shielded from view
  • free from intrusion by others
  • usable for expressing breast milk
  • not a bathroom, and
  • close enough to the employee’s work area to be practical of access.

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