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Heath Care Reform Bonus: Breastfeeding Rooms

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know about the new health care reform law: on page 1239 there is a provision requiring employers with more than 50 employees to make sure there is “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”  You can read about the details here. I thought that was pretty refreshingly progressive. I myself actually couldn’t nurse my daughter, but most of my sisters, friends and co-workers have, and everyone has their own stories about the challenge of pumping in the workplace, including a colleague who had a humorous encounter with a red-faced secret service agent as she carried her breast pump through White House security.  I wonder how some employers are going to deal with this. It’s one thing when your workplace is in an office building where you can retrofit an office into a lactation room. But what do you do when the workplace is a construction site, or an airplane, or a public park, or a mall kiosk?  If you saw the bathroom break solution of a female sanitation worker on the pilot of Undercover Boss, you, like me, will be interested to see the creative solutions that arise as employers adapt.

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