Policies: Lactation Support

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Breastfeeding employees and students who choose to continue providing their milk for their infants after returning to work shall receive:

A place to express milk on campus: UW-Eau Claire will provide employees and students with dedicated nursing and lactation space. If an appropriate personal office space is available, employees can use this space. The space does not need to be permanent or on the immediate premises, but it must be a private space and:

  • not a bathroom
  • not a locker room
  • shielded from view
  • free from intrusion by co-workers and/or the public
  • within a 10-minute walk from the nursing mother’s assigned work area, preferably without having to go outdoors
  • available in each of the main campus buildings on lower and upper campus
  • available at approximately the times when the nursing mother is likely to need the space

Nursing and lactation space should be equipped with the following:

  • Privacy in the form of a separate room when possible. If a large room is dedicated to lactation, partitions or curtains should be used to create separate, private spaces.
  • If windows exist, drapes or curtains must be installed. When possible, the room will have a door that locks from the inside.
  • Comfortable seating, a flat surface such as a table, and a trash can.
  • An electrical outlet to support electric breast pumps.
  • A light that is controllable from inside the room.
  • A label or door sign that indicates the space is in use.
  • Sanitary wipes for clean-up.
  • A bulletin board to post user schedules.

Work required to convert these spaces could include paint, electrical updates, and furniture updates. The supervisor/chair should consult Facilities Management or the building coordinator to arrange for work to be completed.

Use of lactation spaces on campus:

  • All breastfeeding employees and students will have access to lactation spaces.
  • Campus visitors will be able to use the publically accessible lactation spaces.
  • Depending on frequency of use, a schedule may need to be implemented to accommodate effective shared use of the room.

Break Times: Paid break times are allowed for nursing and lactation responsibilities needed by the mother. When possible, breaks should be scheduled during normal break and meal times and/or when workflow allows. Typically, a nursing mother needs to take a 25 to 40 minute break approximately every three hours, including time to get to and from the lactation area. Supervisors should keep in mind that the frequency and duration of breaks vary from mother to mother depending on their physical needs. There may be occasions when a nursing mother will need to handle nursing and lactation responsibilities at times that are not optimally convenient for the office. Supervisors are responsible for creating a supportive environment for nursing mothers so they can adequately manage their nursing and lactation responsibilities.

Employee/Student Responsibilities

  • Communication: employees who wish to express milk during the workday shall coordinate with their supervisors as needed so they can work together to satisfy the needs of both the employee and the department/unit. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor/chair to plan for their lactation needs. If additional planning assistance is needed, employees may contact Human Resources. Students shall coordinate with course faculty/instructors to determine if special accommodations are required. If additional planning assistance is needed, students may contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  • Maintenance of the lactation room: nursing mothers are responsible for keeping the room clean and sanitary for the next user.
  • Milk storage: As with any personal food item, handling and supervision of the expressed milk is the sole responsibility of the nursing mother. Each nursing mother is responsible for proper storage of the expressed milk using personal storage coolers or department/unit refrigerators if available. If milk is stored in a department or unit refrigerator, the nursing mother is encouraged to label it to avoid confusion. (US 4/15)

This policy is in accordance with Section 4904 of the Affordable Care Act, codified at 29 U.S.C. § 207(r).

University Senate: April 18, 2015