Skip to main content

Break Time to Pump Breast Milk

Break Time to Pump Breast Milk

Most employees have the right to take reasonable break time to express breast milk for their nursing child. For one year after the child’s birth , covered employees may take reasonable break time “each time such employee has need to express the milk.” An employer may not deny a covered employee a needed break to pump.

The frequency and duration of breaks needed to express milk will likely vary depending on factors related to the nursing employee and the child.

Factors such as the location of the space and the steps reasonably necessary to express breast milk, such as pump setup, can also affect the duration of time an employee will need to express milk.

Employees who telework are eligible to take pump breaks under the FLSA on the same basis as other employees.

Private Space to Pump Breast Milk

Covered employees must be provided with “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 an employee to express breast milk.” Under the FLSA, a bathroom, even if private, is not a permissible location for the employer to provide for pumping breast milk.

The location provided must be functional as a space for expressing breast milk. If the space is not dedicated to the nursing employee’s use, it must be available when needed by the employee in order to meet the statutory requirement. A space temporarily created or converted into a space for expressing breast milk or made available when needed by the nursing employee is sufficient provided that the space is shielded from view and free from any intrusion from co-workers and the public.

Workers who telework must also be free from observation by any employer-provided or required video system, including computer camera, security camera, or web conferencing platform.