• Healthy Horizons

Workplace Breastfeeding Laws By State

Updated: Oct 21

32 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have their own workplace breastfeeding laws. Click the links to learn about the workplace breastfeeding laws in your state.



1. Arkansas

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 11-5-116 (2009) requires an employer to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her child and requires an employer to make a reasonable effort to provide a private, secure and sanitary room or other location other than a toilet stall where an employee can express her breast milk.

2. California

Cal. Government Code § 12920-12923 (1980) and § 12926 (2012) make it unlawful to engage in specified discriminatory practices on the basis of sex, which includes breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding, in the opportunity to seek, obtain and hold employment or housing.

Cal. Labor Code § 1030 et seq. (2001) provides that employers need to allow a break and provide a room for a mother who desires to express milk in private. AB 1976 (2018) requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide an employee with the use of a room or a location other than a bathroom, for these purposes. SB 142 (2019) requires the room or location other than a bathroom to have prescribed features. Features an employer, among other things, to provide access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee's workspace.

3. Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-13.5-102 and § 8-13.5-104 (2008) acknowledge the benefits of breastfeeding and require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to two years after the child's birth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a toilet stall, for the employee to express breast milk in privacy. The law also requires the Department of Labor and Employment to provide, on its website, information, and links to other websites where employers can access information regarding methods to accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace.


4. Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40w (2001) requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child and to provide accommodations where an employee can express her milk in private.


5. Delaware

Del. Code Ann. tit. 19 § 710 (1997) exceeds the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because it applies to all working mothers (not just hourly).


6. District of Columbia

D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.81 et seq. (2007) amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 to include breastfeeding as part of the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex, to ensure a woman's right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child. The law provides that breastfeeding is not a violation of indecent exposure laws. The law also specifies that an employer shall provide reasonable daily unpaid break periods, as required by the employee, so that the employee may express breast milk for her child. These break periods shall run concurrently with any break periods that may already be provided to the employee. Requires that an employer make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her breast milk in privacy and security. The location may include a childcare facility in close proximity to the employee's work location.

7. Georgia

Ga. Code § 34-1-6 (2010) allows employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. The employer is not required to provide break time if to do so would unduly disrupt the workplace operations.


8. Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 367-3 (1999) requires the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission to collect, assemble, and publish data concerning instances of discrimination involving breastfeeding or expressing breast milk in the workplace. The law prohibits employers to forbid an employee from expressing breast milk during any meal period or other break period.


Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 378-2 (2000) provides that it is unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer or labor organization to refuse to hire or employ, bar or discharge from employment, withhold pay from, demote or penalize a lactating employee because an employee breastfeeds or expresses milk at the workplace.

Hawaii Sess. Laws. Act. 249 (2013) requires specified employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express milk for a nursing child in a location, other than a bathroom, that is sanitary, shielded from view and free from intrusion. The law also requires employers to post notice of the application of this law in a conspicuous place accessible to employees.


9. Illinois

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 820 § 260 (2001) creates the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act. Requires that employers provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to employees who need to express breast milk. The law also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy. IL HB 1595 (2018) prohibits employers from reducing an employee's compensation for time used to express milk or to nurse a baby.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 68 § 5/2-102 (2017) states that "reasonable accommodations" means reasonable modifications or adjustments to the job application process or work environment that enable an applicant or employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth to be considered for the position the applicant desires or to perform the essential functions of that position.


10. Indiana

Ind. Code § 5-10-6-2 and § 22-2-14-2 (2008) provide that state and political subdivisions shall provide for reasonable paid breaks for an employee to express breast milk for her infant, make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express breast milk in private and make reasonable efforts to provide for a refrigerator to keep breast milk that has been expressed. The law also provides that employers with more than 25 employees must provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express the employee's breast milk in private and if possible to provide a refrigerator for storing breast milk that has been expressed.


11. Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 344.040 (2019) makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to make reasonable accommodations for an employee with limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition, including but not limited to the need to express breastmilk (SB 18).


12. Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:81 (2013) requires public school boards to adopt a policy to require each school to provide an appropriate, private room, other than a restroom, that may be used by an employee to express breast milk. The school must also provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee needing to express breast milk for up to one year following the birth of her child.


13. Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 604 (2009) requires an employer to provide adequate unpaid or paid break time to express breast milk for up to 3 years following childbirth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a clean place, other than a bathroom, where an employee may express breast milk in privacy. The employer may not discriminate against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace.


ME HB 487 (2019) provides that it is unlawful employment discrimination for an employer to fail to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy-related condition, including lactation, unless provision of an accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer.


14. Maryland

Md. State Personnel and Pensions Code Ann. § 2-310 (2018) requires the State, through its appropriate officers and employees, to provide a reasonable break time for employees to express breast milk and, on notice, to provide a certain place that may be used by an employee to express breast milk, prohibits the State from being required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any time spent expressing breast milk at work (HB 306).


15. Massachusetts

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 151B § 4 (2018) provides that it is unlawful discrimination for an employer to deny reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy or any condition related to the employee’s pregnancy including, but not limited to, lactation or the need to express breast milk. (HB 3680).


16. Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 181.939 (1998) requires employers to provide daily, unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. HB 2536 (2014) states that employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace that is shielded from view, free from intrusion and has an electrical outlet. The law specifies that an employer may not retaliate against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this act.

17. Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. Ch. 1 § 71-1-55 (2006) prohibits against discrimination towards breastfeeding mothers who use lawful break time to express milk.


18. Montana

Mont. Code Ann. § 39-2-215 et seq. (2007) specifies that employers must not discriminate against breastfeeding mothers and must encourage and accommodate breastfeeding. Requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child, if breaks are currently allowed, and facilities for storage of the expressed milk. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the work place for this activity.

19. Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1102-11 (2015) The Nebraska Fair Employment Practices Act requires that reasonable accommodation shall include break time and appropriate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.


20. Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat § 608.0193 (2017) Each employer shall provide an employee who is the mother of a child under 1 year of age with: reasonable break time, with or without compensation, for the employee to express breast milk as needed; and a place, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk. Does not apply to employers of less than 50 employees if such would impose undue hardship.


21. New Jersey

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 10:5-12 (2018) makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate based on pregnancy or breastfeeding in compensation or financial terms of employment.


22. New Mexico

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-20-2 (2007) requires employers to provide a clean, private place, not a bathroom, for employees who are breastfeeding to pump. Also requires that the employee be given breaks to express milk, but does not require that she be paid for this time.


23. New York

N.Y. Labor Law § 206-C (2007) states that employers must allow breastfeeding mothers reasonable, unpaid break times to express milk and make a reasonable attempt to provide a private location for her to do so. Prohibits discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.


24. Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 40, § 435 (2006) requires that an employer provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her child. The law requires the Department of Health to issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers.


25. Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 653.075, § 653.077 and § 653.256 (2007) allow women to have unpaid 30-minute breaks during each four-hour shift to breastfeed or pump. Allows certain exemptions for employers.

OR HB 2341 (2019) makes unlawful employment practice for employer to deny reasonable accommodation to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, including lactation.

OR HB 2593 (2019) conforms state law related to expression of milk in the workplace to federal law, eliminates the exemption from providing rest periods for expression of milk in the workplace if granting rest period imposes undue hardship.


26. Puerto Rico

3 L.P.R.A. § 1466 and 29 L.P.R.A. § 478a et seq. provide that breastfeeding mothers have the opportunity to breastfeed their babies for half an hour within the full-time working day for a maximum duration of 12 months.


27. Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.2-1 (2003) specifies that an employer may provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her infant child. The law requires the department of health to issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers, and provides definitions.

28. South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-80 (2018) enacts the Pregnancy Accommodations Act, relates to definitions under the human affairs laws, revises the terms because of sex or on the basis of sex used in the context of equal treatment for women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, relates to unlawful employment practices of an employer and lactation, provides for certain other unlawful employment practices in regard to failure to provide reasonable accommodations for an applicant for employment or employee (HB 3865).

SC HB 3200 (2020) enacts the Lactation Support Act; provides that employers shall provide employees with reasonable unpaid break time daily or shall permit employees to use paid break time or meal time to express breast milk; provides that employers shall make reasonable efforts to provide certain areas where employees may express breast milk; provides that employers may not discriminate against employees for choosing to express breast milk in the workplace.


29.Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-305 (1999) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity.


30. Texas

Tex. Health Code Ann. § 165.003 (1995) provides for the use of a "mother-friendly" designation for businesses who have policies supporting worksite breastfeeding.


Texas Government Code § 619.004 (2015) Public employers are required to provide breastfeeding employees with reasonable accommodations including break time and a private location other than a restroom, and cannot discriminate against breastfeeding employees.


31. Utah

Utah HJR 4 (2012) encourages employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and to provide unpaid break time and an appropriate space for employees who need to breastfeed or express their milk for their infant children.

Utah Code Ann. § 34-49-101 et. seq. (2015) requires a public employer to provide reasonable breaks for a mother who needs to express breast milk and a room or other location in close proximity to the employee’s work area that is not a bathroom, is private, and has an electrical outlet. The employer shall also provide access to a clean refrigerator or freezer for the storage of breast milk.

Utah Code Ann. § 34A-5-106 (2016) states that it is a discriminatory and prohibited practice for an employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee related to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related conditions if the employee requests it and unless the employer demonstrates the accommodation would create an undue hardship. An employer also may not require an employee to terminate employment or deny employment opportunities based on the need for an employer to make reasonable accommodations.

32. Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 305 (2008) requires employers to provide reasonable time throughout the day for nursing mothers to express breast milk for three years after the birth of a child. Also requires employers to make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall, and prohibits discrimination against an employee who exercises or attempts to exercise the rights provided under this act.


33. Virginia

Va. HJR 145 (2002) encourages employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and to provide unpaid break time and appropriate space for employees to breastfeed or express milk.

Va. Code § 2.2-3903 (2002) states that no employer with more than five but less than 15 employees shall discharge an employee on the basis of certain factors, including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including lactation.


Va. Code § 22.1-79.6 (2014) Directs each local school board to adopt a policy to set aside, in each school in the school division, a non-restroom location that is shielded from the public view to be designated as an area in which any mother who is employed by the local school board or enrolled as a student may take breaks of reasonable length during the school day to express milk to feed her child until the child reaches the age of one.

VA HB 827 (2020) relates to the Virginia Human Rights Act; prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation; requires employers to make reasonable accommodation for the known limitations of a person related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including lactation, if such accommodation is necessary; sets forth prohibited actions by employers; provides for actions against employers in violation of the Act.

VA SB 868 (2020) relates to prohibited discrimination on the basis of several factors, including lactation; relates to public accommodations, employment, credit, and housing; creates explicit causes of action for unlawful discrimination in public accommodations and employment in the Human Rights Act.


34. Washington

Wash. Rev. Code § 43.70.640 (2001) allows any employer, governmental and private, to use the designation of "infant-friendly" on its promotional materials if the employer has an approved workplace breastfeeding policy with certain requirements, including flexible work scheduling with breaks to express breast milk and a location other than a restroom for breastfeeding.


Wash. Rev. Code 43.10.005 (2019) revises provisions related to the expression of breast milk in the workplace, expands the definition of reasonable accommodation to provide reasonable break times for an employee to express breast milk for a certain number of years after a child’s birth and to provide a private location, other than a bathroom, for such purpose. (HB 1930)

National Conference of State Legislatures. “Breastfeeding State Laws.”

www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx. National Conference of State Legislatures. 7 Sep. 2020. Web. 12 Oct. 2020


U.S. Department of Labor. "Employment Protections for Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing." https://www.dol.gov/agencies/wb/pregnant-nursing-employment-protections. 2020. Web. 20 Oct. 2020