I didn't know how to title this thread but I need information on this subject.
Does anyone have a policy concerning breast feeding at the workplace?
What exactly are you looking for to put in your policy? I believe some States have laws concerning BFing...(edit) and pumping too.
There are state level protections for that, itself, but you can run into sex discrimination issues outside of that if a supervisor says or does something bone headed (e.g., unreasonably deny breaks for the purpose of feeding or pumping, particularly if these denials did not occur prior to giving birth).
Where are you located, again??
If I recall correctly, you are in VA. State law guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child on any property owned, leased, or controlled by the state (VA Stat. Sec. 2.2-1147.1 ). In addition, the Virginia Legislature has passed a joint resolution encouraging employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and to provide unpaid break time and appropriate space for employees to breastfeed or express milk (H.J.Res. 145 (2002)). Neither the state law nor the joint resolution requires that employers on privately owned premises allow employees to breastfeed or express breast milk in the workplace.
Their State might not require allowing employees to pump at work but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give them some common courtesy. At the very least, be discreet, allow her to take as many breaks necessary to pump and please offer her more than just a bathroom with an outlet to do her business in. An office with a lock on the door that isn't being used or a conference room would be super. I really honestly don't believe it's something that requires a written policy unless you feel you could be at risk for a lawsuit.
Sorry, as someone who had to jump through hurdles to pump herself, I'm very passionate about this subject.
Thanks for all of the quick responses. It is correct I am in VA and I appreciate the links to the pages reflecting the VA statutes. We do not have a written policy concerning this and I probably will not produce one. We make allowances that are as convenient for the mother as possible while still being in an "at ready" state at all times. There has been no problem and I don't believe in making people for any reason jump hurdles to do what should be a natural thing. So I support you gi_janearng.
So why did I ask? I have a member in another net-working group that posed the question. I knew that I would get good responses here. So keep the information coming. The inquirer is from Texas and wanted to know if others had policies and what their experiences with such issues or polices have been.
Cappy, at least they are being proactive which is always a big plus. [:)] I wonder if they might contact their local La Leche League branch and see what they might have to offer for training materials that could be given to supervisors? In the meantime, let the supervisors know that while they shouldn't be asking their employees outright what they are planning on doing when they return from maternity leave, they could be putting out there that the employer is a family friendly business and let them know there are options available for her to pump/BF while at work if she should choose to.