Lactation legislation included in the Healthcare Reform Bill

Before I begin my post, let me preface it with this disclaimer:

I care not if you breastfeed or chose formula for your child. Your child, your boobs, your decision. I made mine, and you are entitled to yours.

I care not your political beliefs, and I don't want to hear them. This is not a blog about politics. I am entitled to my own political beliefs (and also to keep them private if I so wish). You are entitled the same consideration. So is everyone else reading this.

I do not care if you like our Presidents, Congressmen, or Senators. I don't like some of them either. They were elected. Now deal with it until the next election. If you don't like a bill they are considering, write them. If you are against one political party and in favor of another, volunteer during the next campaign season.

I am posting this simply to enlighten lactating mothers of their rights, as included in the recently passed "Healthcare Reform Bill". I don't care if you supported passage of this bill or not. I don't care if you are a Tea-partyer or not. I don't care about your political, ethical, or moral beliefs in the least. We are all entitled to our own. I DO, however, care about MY rights, and as an extension, YOUR rights.

Any inappropriate comments left here, or elsewhere on my blog, will be removed. If you've linked to this post, please feel free to leave me a note saying so. Any comment along the lines of "Stupid Senate, Stupid Congress, Stupid Healthcare Reform," etc. will be deleted. So will comments arguing breast vs. bottle, Republican vs. Democrat, etc.

I just found out about this tiny little feature of the recently passed, much-debated Healthcare Reform Bill recently passed. I don't care whether you were for or against this piece of legislation. I couldn't care less if you like it or not. I just wanna get these fact out there so that those who need them have them. If this interests you or someone you know, please link to this. I didn't know about it. I'm sure there are other women out there who are lactating, working mothers who really could use this information.

The below passage comes from HR 3590 (AKA the Healthcare Reform Bill passed by the U.S. Senate on December 24, 2009 and the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. President Obama signed this act into law on March 23, 2010. This is now Federal Public Law 111-148.) Section 4207. I have copied and pasted it from here.

SEC. 4207. REASONABLE BREAK TIME FOR NURSING MOTHERS. Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

(29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(r)(1) An employer shall provide— ‘‘(A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and ‘‘(B) 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. ‘‘(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose. ‘‘(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
‘‘(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.’’.

This is great news for lactating women. You are now guaranteed under Federal law (as long as your employer has at least 50 employees) unpaid breaks and a private room for expressing breastmilk. You no longer have to pump in a dirty bathroom. Your lactation room must now be free from view AND intrusion from coworkers and the public. This means you are entitled to a door that locks, to maintain your privacy and dignity while expressing breastmilk.

This is a step up in recognizing the importance of breastfeeding our children. This is a step up in recognizing a mother's right to breastfeed even after returning to work. This is Federal Law recognizing our children's right to be comforted by breastmilk even after the first two or six or eight weeks of life. This is Federal Law recognizing that I chose to breastfeed my son until he is ready to wean, and I have the right to expect to not lose my milk supply after I return to work.

Please pass this news on. Feel free to pass on the link to this blog. Let's get the word out that a new Federal law is giving this to those mothers who choose to breastfeed their children.

Also, please know that I am posting this exact same entry on my other blog, also.
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