Over the last several decades, more women have chosen to enter the workforce, including those who are mothers. For some, this choice is merely to add to household wealth or continue in a profession that one loves. For others, though, the choice to work is out of financial necessity. This can be especially challenging for new mothers who may have to return to work faster than they had hoped. Yet, regardless of one's financial position, federal law provides certain protections for mothers who engage in the workforce.
One of those rights is to have a reasonable break time so that they can express breast milk. This protection lasts for up to one year after a child's birth, and the break must be given each time that a mother needs to express. In addition to providing ample time, employers are required to give a nursing mother a space where they can express milk privately. This means that the space must be out of public view and free from intrusion.
This may not be the full extent of protection offered to a breastfeeding mother, though. Federal law states that if state law protections extend beyond those provided by the federal government, then the state protections apply.
Additionally, it is important to note that employers with less than 50 employees may be exempt from the break time protections if they can prove that providing the break places an undue hardship on them. This determination is made by looking at the cost and difficulty in complying with such requirements in comparison to the employer's resources, including financial and human resources.
Being denied the employee rights to which one is entitled can result in serious negative consequences. For this reason, those who feel they have been wronged by their employer may want to consider taking legal action. Experienced employment law attorneys are available in Michigan, and they are eager to aggressively fight for their clients.