President Barack Obama recently signed into law a sweeping healthcare reform act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This act contains a provision that has received little attention but that may impact employers in meaningful ways.
Section 4207, entitled “Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers,” amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for a nursing child for one year after the child’s birth and to provide a private place, other than a bathroom, for this purpose. The law does not require employers to pay employees for this break time, and it provides an exception for employers with fewer than fifty employees if compliance would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense.
Further guidance may be issued by the federal government. Until then, employers should designate an appropriate place for this purpose and should revise employment policies to address this issue. For assistance in complying with this or other federal and Texas employment laws or for assistance in drafting an employment policy regarding this new provision, please contact the Texas employment lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].
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