Friday, February 22, 2008

Breastfeeding Accommodation Bill Approved by Committee

A bill requiring employers to set aside space for nursing mothers to breastfeed their infants, or pump milk for storage, was overwhelmingly approved by the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee Thursday.

HB 1276 would impose on private businesses a "reasonable accommodation" standard, requiring the employer to provide time and space for breastfeeding.

The proposed "Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act" does not require employers to pay female employees for the time taken to nurse an infant or expel milk. The bill would allow employers to designate established break and meal interludes as periods available for nursing, so long as they are sufficiently numerous to be the necessary reasonable accommodation.

The bill also requires that the employer provide space other than a toilet stall for nursing purposes.

HB 1276 is sponsored by Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, and Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne.