In general, the FLSA does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. However, all employers covered by the FLSA must comply with the Act’s break time for nursing mothers provision. Please refer to the Wage and Hour Division’s Nursing Mothers website to obtain additional information on this topic. Some states may have additional requirements for breaks or meal periods. If you work in a state which does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative).
What must an employer provide to workers who want to express breast milk in the workplace?
Effective March 23, 2010, employers are required under the FLSA to provide unpaid break time and space for nursing mothers to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. Where employers already provide compensated breaks, an employee who uses that break time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time. See WHD Fact Sheet # 73, Break Time for Nursing Mothers under FLSA. In addition, the FLSA’s general requirement that the employee must be completely relieved from duty or else the time must be compensated as work time applies. See WHD Fact Sheet #22, Hours Worked Under FLSA. Please refer to the Wage and Hour Division’s Nursing Mothers website to obtain additional information on this topic.