Lactation Break Fact Sheet
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Obama and amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Act requires covered employers to provide lactation breaks to certain employees.
General Requirements Winthrop University must provide "reasonable break time for nursing mothers" to express breast milk for up to one (1) year after the child’s birth. The University must provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk." Coverage and Compensation The Act is only applicable to non-exempt employees, who are eligible to earn overtime or compensatory time. The University is not required to compensate for breaks taken to express breast milk; however, if an employee generally receives a paid break and uses that time to express breast milk, the employee must be compensated in the same manner as other employees are for the break time. Employees must be completely relieved from duty to express breast milk if the break is not compensated. Time and Location of Breaks A bathroom is not a permissible location for expressing breast milk under the Act. The space may be a temporary or converted space and only needs to be available when the nursing mother needs it. The space must be shielded from intrusions by other co-workers and the general public, and should include a chair, an electrical outlet for breast pumps, and a door lock. Employees should discuss with their supervisor the frequency of breaks necessary and how much time is needed for each break. All reasonable requests may not be refused. Employees may work, in collaboration with their supervisor, to determine a suitable area in their departments that may be utilized to express breast milk; or employees may use Room 104A that is available in the Dacus Library. Other Issues Supervisors may not retaliate against employees who request lactation breaks. These breaks may be unpaid for non-exempt employees, and would not require use of sick or annual leave. The employee would be in a leave without pay status during the breaks. Please address questions to the Office of Human Resources at (803) 323-2273, or via email at This fact sheet is subject to change once additional guidelines are provided by the Department of Labor (DOL). email@example.com.