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house Bill H.R. 4113

Should it be Easier for Women to Pump Breastmilk at the Office?

Argument in favor

Women should be able to breastfeed/pump milk wherever they want. This bill makes it easier for families to choose to breastfeed their babies, while eliminating unfair gender-specific stress in the workplace.

Lilla's Opinion
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06/01/2016
Being a working mother is very difficult, and in 2016 women should be enabled to care for their children and have careers. If the US isn't allowing adequate paid maternity leave, they sure as hell better let mothers breastfeed or pump milk in public.
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William's Opinion
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06/01/2016
I mean we give smokers breaks to literally do something that kills them...........slowly
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AFREDSAID's Opinion
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06/01/2016
Women should be encouraged and accommodations should be made to allow a safe, private, comfortable and clean place to pump after returning to work. Most working mothers are back to work no later than 12 weeks after birth and infants are suggested to breastfeed for at least one year. This is a right of all mothers.
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Argument opposed

The relationship between an employer and employee should be private — not regulated by the federal government. This bill would create additional expenses for some employers, but also, businesses should have the right to choose.

Austin's Opinion
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06/01/2016
That should be a company policy matter and not a federal government issue.
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ThisAmerican's Opinion
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06/01/2016
I agree with the general premise, that breastfeeding is natural, and a right for any mother. However, the federal government is getting too accustomed to regulating everything and telling private businesses how to do what they do. This bill is unnecessary. Society needs to just accept breastfeeding in public, and mothers can figure it out from there.
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operaman's Opinion
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05/31/2016
First, I personally have never been presented with this problem. Women receive breaks just like men. Question: is this lactation time an additional break time? I'm I also to guess if babies are able to drop by when hungry or if an employer needs to provide break time, lactate time and even feeding time. Very courteous about how lactating mothers survived in keeping babies alive long enough to survive weaning. This subject seems like a FEEL GOOD moment. Maybe the next question will be for IN-HOUSE nurseries or an automated lactation device. And if yes, what about a SICK BABY nursery? Whatever happened to Grandmothers or mothers and what about expressing Milk prior to or after work. This used to work in the olden days. You know, a decade ago. Whatever happened when a mother could nurse while running from a bear or wildcat? Sorry mothers, motherhood is hard work, especially while working.
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What is House Bill H.R. 4113?

This bill, known as the “Supporting Working Moms Act,” would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to make it easier for salaried employees to pump breastmilk at work.

The Fair Labor Standards Act was already expanded in a 2010 bill (also authored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Sen. Jeff Merkley), which required employers to give hourly employees time and (non-bathroom) space to pump breastmilk at work. The Supporting Working Moms Act would provide these same protections to salaried workers, including office workers and teachers.

The expansion would affect approximately 13.5 million executive, administrative, and professional women across the U.S.

Impact

Working mothers, the businesses that employ them, their families, and related federal regulators.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4113

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sen. Jeff Merkley, sponsor of an identical Senate bill, said in a press release:

“No one should have to choose between her job and breastfeeding her baby. With this bill, businesses can improve retention of valuable employees and workers will be empowered to make whichever choice they feel is right for their family.”


When a similar bill was debated in California’s legislature in 2001, the Napa Chamber of Commerce encouraged then Gov. Gray Davis to veto, arguing:

“We believe that employers are best able to accommodate their employees by determining a private place at their own discretion, and there is no need to legislate specifics on how to best accommodate a lactating mother…Telling an employer (especially a small business owner) where the break must be taken and rejecting places that may be acceptable to the lactating mother seems to us to be an unnecessary burden on businesses.”


Of Note: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, employers that provide support for breastfeeding mothers experience retention of experienced employees, a reduction in sick time taken by moms and dads, and decreased health care and insurance costs.

Media:


Summary by Katie Rose Quandt
(Image Credit: US Department of Labor/ Flickr)

AKA

Supporting Working Moms Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 regarding reasonable break time for nursing mothers.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Workforce Protections
    IntroducedNovember 19th, 2015
    Being a working mother is very difficult, and in 2016 women should be enabled to care for their children and have careers. If the US isn't allowing adequate paid maternity leave, they sure as hell better let mothers breastfeed or pump milk in public.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    That should be a company policy matter and not a federal government issue.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    I mean we give smokers breaks to literally do something that kills them...........slowly
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    I agree with the general premise, that breastfeeding is natural, and a right for any mother. However, the federal government is getting too accustomed to regulating everything and telling private businesses how to do what they do. This bill is unnecessary. Society needs to just accept breastfeeding in public, and mothers can figure it out from there.
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    Women should be encouraged and accommodations should be made to allow a safe, private, comfortable and clean place to pump after returning to work. Most working mothers are back to work no later than 12 weeks after birth and infants are suggested to breastfeed for at least one year. This is a right of all mothers.
    Like (19)
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    This is one of the most natural events that can occur between mother and child. I think we should do everything we can to ensure that this is protected!
    Like (12)
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    If other people deserve "smoke breaks", then working mothers, at the least, deserve whatever time they need to pump breastmilk at work.
    Like (9)
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    First, I personally have never been presented with this problem. Women receive breaks just like men. Question: is this lactation time an additional break time? I'm I also to guess if babies are able to drop by when hungry or if an employer needs to provide break time, lactate time and even feeding time. Very courteous about how lactating mothers survived in keeping babies alive long enough to survive weaning. This subject seems like a FEEL GOOD moment. Maybe the next question will be for IN-HOUSE nurseries or an automated lactation device. And if yes, what about a SICK BABY nursery? Whatever happened to Grandmothers or mothers and what about expressing Milk prior to or after work. This used to work in the olden days. You know, a decade ago. Whatever happened when a mother could nurse while running from a bear or wildcat? Sorry mothers, motherhood is hard work, especially while working.
    Like (8)
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    This is up to the individual business.
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    It should be easier but it shouldn't be legislated.
    Like (7)
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    There should be an area for private medical use in every building. You could require a valid pass like for handicap parking if you need to. Women are told by their medical providers that breastfeeding is one of the single most important things a mother can do for their child. But when you start you have no control over the on/off button. If an infant isn't feeding when the milk comes in the experience is very, very painful if you don't pump. The milk will also soak through clothing if not extracted. It is a matter of basic dignity for a woman.
    Like (7)
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    It's a natural part of life and a necessity for working mothers, particularly ones with very short maternity leave. We shouldn't make it an inconvenience or shame women for it.
    Like (6)
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    Absolutely! My child bearing years (2006-2010) I witnessed too many young women having to pump in a bathroom stall at work. Needless to say the maintenance organization was found to not be up to par on cleaning and supplies. When I asked for a room I was initially told there wasn't one available and since the manager (female) didn't have one years ago that it didn't matter. After debate I was able to secure a room but it did not have a lock. I had to roll a chair up against the door and pump with a multitude of people walking by and some even knocking. Yes there was a sign up but all it said was conference room in use. I couldn't get a sign that said lactation room or anything similar. Afterwards, I had to take my milk and store in a refrigerator that was shared by 400 other employees which was not very clean to say the least and wash my supplies out in a bathroom sink. Which research shows the sink/faucet to be dirtier than the toilet seat. Much of this lead to anxiety and the inability to express milk that my child at the time desperately needed due to other medical issues. To boot, I worked at a government facility. In excusable in my humble opinion. The ability and availability should be made. Period. Imagine how much (money, counseling, time, etc) could of been saved simply by having a room available.
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    We are humans and need to get over our sexist feelings toward human skin showing, they aren't having sex they are nurturing a young child and its natural. We humans need to be more mature and let go of medieval ideology on what body parts can be seen
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    This isn't just about equality or social justice. Women in the work place add meaningful economic value and accommodation of working women empirically benefits not only these women but the economy as a whole.
    Like (4)
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    The USA does not allow for adequate paid maternity leave. While many companies (large and SMALL) provide better benefits than required too, many still don't. In light of that YES, it is healthier for a baby to have breast milk and it should be required that mothers have a sanity place to pump their milk during the day. Sitting on a toilet seat is NOT sanitary or relaxing, and both required for breast pumping.
    Like (4)
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    Being a mother shouldn't affect one's ability to be a professional. The more we can provide accommodations for working the mothers the better.
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    Breast feeding is the inherent right, by nature, of a mother who wishes to feed her child.
    Like (3)
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    It's ridiculous that legislation is needed to get employers to treat their employees with simple courtesies
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    Absolutely. It's critical for employers to support working mothers who continue to breastfeed after returning to the office. My employer offers mother's rooms and other areas to support breastfeeding mothers and I took advantage of this after returning to work with both my children.
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