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The Laws Surrounding Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Many moms choose to breastfeed their new born child. But when they have to return to work, it can be a challenging task. So, what are the laws surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace, especially in Arizona?

Photo by Bruce Mars

Federal Law

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act passed and in it requires any employer to provide a break for any employee needing to breastfeed. However, the employer doesn’t have to pay for the break time. In addition to providing the break time, an employer must also provide a safe place for this to be done, other than the bathroom. There are exceptions, like if a business has fewer than 50 employers or it proves to “impose undue hardship” to the business, then an employer doesn’t have to follow these laws. But, some state laws protect employers more when it comes to breastfeeding in the workplace.

Arizona Law

Arizona doesn’t have any specific laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace, but other states do. However, Arizona is one of the 49 states who have laws in place that allows breastfeeding in any public or private location. Also, it is one of the 29 states that exempts breastfeeding from any public indecency laws in place.

Some states like Maryland and California do have stronger laws related to breastfeeding, like prohibiting discrimination against breastfeeding or even offer more education regarding breastfeeding in the workplace.