Two measures were approved Tuesday by the full Senate to protect the rights of nursing mothers who are state employees. Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, is the author of the two bills.
Senate Bill 1877 will require all buildings owned or leased by the state where state employees work to have a place other than a bathroom for breastfeeding or to express breast milk.
Currently, federal law requires that all federally owned or leased buildings have a lactation room. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 to require employers to provide reasonable break times for employees to express breast milk for their nursing children for one year after the birth of their children.
SB 285 is a companion bill for SB 1877 that requires state agencies to allow nursing mothers reasonable daily paid break times to pump in order to maintain their milk supply and personal comfort.
“Nursing provides significant health benefits for babies, so we need to do all we can to help encourage and support Oklahoma moms who choose to do this for their children,” David said. “It’s already difficult for moms to be away from their babies, but their job shouldn’t be a deterrent to breastfeeding. Allowing state employees a private place and the time they need to pump milk will help them tremendously and ensure more of Oklahoma’s babies are getting this important nutrition.”
The measures now go to the House for further consideration.
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