Breaks for Nursing Mother (Breastfeeding) :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Breaks for Nursing Mother (Breastfeeding)

Policy Number: 409

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: AVP for Human Resources

Subject: Policy and procedures for employees who are breastfeeding

Related Policies:


Additional Information:

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 11/01/2017

1. Scope

This policy applies to all College employees who are breastfeeding for one year after the birth of their child.

2. Policy Statement

NOVA supports breastfeeding mothers by accommodating the mother who wishes to express breast milk during her workday. For up to one year after the child’s birth, any employee who is breastfeeding her child will be provided reasonable break times to express breast milk for her newborn in a private location.

3. Definitions

Lactation Area: a private location with an electrical outlet, seating, and small table/counter/flat surface other than a public restroom or toilet stall, concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.

4. Procedures

Employees seeking time away from work to express breast milk must provide reasonable notice to their supervisor that they intend to express milk during the work day. It is highly recommended that employees notify their supervisor prior to their return to work to allow the supervisor sufficient time to make arrangements necessary to comply with the policy.

Paid break time, unpaid break time, or unpaid meal time, as well as personal leave, or flexible scheduling can be used to express milk. Two 15-minute breaks will be approved as paid break time. Employees may take an additional unpaid break of up to thirty (30) minutes during each four-hour period to express milk. With the supervisor’s approval, time used to express milk may be made up at the beginning or end of the day.

If an employee has access to a refrigerator, breast milk may be stored in the refrigerator. Any breast milk stored in the refrigerator must be labeled with the name of the employee and the date. Any non-conforming products stored in the refrigerator may be disposed of. Employees storing milk in the refrigerator assume all responsibility for the safety of the milk and the risk of harm for any reason, including improper storage, refrigeration and tampering.

If an employee does not have access to a refrigerator, she should be prepared to carry a cooler and cold packs for personal storage of expressed milk.

5. Authority

DHRM Policy 1.25 Hours of Work

Fair Labor Standards Act § 7(r) (as amended by the Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148)

VCCS Policy 3.14.7 Lactation