The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is committed to promoting and protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed her child for as long as she chooses. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six (6) months for the optimal health of a mother and her child. New York State Labor Law (Section 206-c) requires employers to provide reasonable time for an employee to express milk during the work period as well as private space (not a bathroom) that is free from intrusion by co-workers and the public. These provisions must be accommodated for up to three years after the birth of the child.
In order for a workplace to designated as a "Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace" by the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), the worksite must meet the minimum requirements below. Additionally, the ECDOH recommends that workplaces strive to achieve as many of the elements within the “Additional Accommodations” section below as possible. The ECDOH provides technical assistance to worksites to help them obtain the designation of a breastfeeding friendly workplace. For more information, please call 716-858-4752.
Erie County Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Designation Requirements
- Room or other private location is available (not a restroom) that locks from the inside, has an electrical outlet, chair, table, and access to nearby running water
- Employee provides own pump
- Employee stores milk in a personal cooler
- Employee takes usual lunch and break times (two to three 15-20 minute breaks) to express milk; extra time is considered unpaid leave
- Company makes breastfeeding information available
- Support from company managers, supervisors, and co-workers (ensuring protection from discrimination)
- Worksite has a lactation support policy
- Worksite has a lactation support policy that includes protection for pregnant and breastfeeding women from harassment and discrimination
- Established company training programs include information about workplace lactation policy
- Lactation support contacts and information is provided with company new employee orientation/paperwork
- Designated private lactation room
- Designated space has room dividers for multiple mothers to express milk at the same time
- Expanded paid breaks for expressing milk or breastfeeding
- Extra time that may be needed is made up as part of a flexible schedule (coming in early, staying late, etc) or is paid
- Employer pays for rental of a breast pump, or provides a hospital-grade multi-user electric breast pump that is purchased or rented
- Employer subsidizes the cost of attachment kits for hospital-grade pump
- Employer provides an onsite multi-user pump and attachment kits
- Employee stores milk in a common staff refrigerator
- Employee stores milk in a refrigerator dedicated for human milk storage
- Employees may bring young babies to work and are encouraged to breastfeed on demand
- Care givers may bring the child to mother for feedings
- On-site child care is provided with accommodation for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Assessment
Please take a few moments to complete this brief Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Assessment Form to let us know what you are doing to make your workplace breast feeding friendly.
The above information was adapted from the Niagara County Department of Health Accommodations for Breastfeeding in the Workplace.