Breastfeeding Laws

Breastfeeding Laws

The following is a list of recent federal and state laws that impact breastfeeding.
Illinois Legislation:
  • Right to Breastfeed Act (2004) “A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be…”

  • Nursing Mother in the Workplace Act (2001) “An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child.”

  • Jury Act (2006) “Any mother nursing her child shall, upon request, be excused from jury service.” (Note: here’s our letter template should you receive a summons during the duration of nursing your baby or babies).

  • Hospital Infant Feeding Act (2013)  “Every hospital that provides birthing services must adopt an infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding. In developing the policy, a hospital shall consider guidance provided by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.”

  • Pregnancy Accommodation Act (2015) amends the Illinois Human Rights Act and requires employers to provide “…private non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk and breastfeeding…”

  • Public Act 100-0029 (effective 1/1/2018) details breastfeeding and pumping accommodations that must be made for pupils in Illinois’ public schools.

  • Public Act 100-1003 (7/1/2018) amends the IL The Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act to require that break time be paid.
ILPREGRIGHTSACTFederal Legislation:
  • Break Time For Nursing Mothers (2010) “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”

(Note: If your employer refuses to comply with the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) by calling the toll-free WHD number 1-800-487-9243. You will then be directed to your nearest WHD office for assistance. All services are free and confidential. Your employer cannot fire or discriminate against you for filing a complaint with WHD).

  • Women’s Preventative Services (2010) “Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment”  must be covered by non-grandfathered insurance plans and plans can no longer charge a patient a copayment, coinsurance or deductible for these services when they are delivered by a network provider.”

(Note: we maintain a page of resources for obtaining insurance reimbursement of comprehensive lactation support and counseling here).

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