If an employee is covered under both Colorado and federal laws, then the employer must follow the law which provides the greater protection to employees.
|COLORADO LAW||FEDERAL LAW|
|The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) requires that employers provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”|
An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy.
Reasonable efforts means any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.
Undue hardship means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, the financial resources of the business, or the nature and structure of its operation, including consideration of the special circumstances of public safety.
|The location provided must be “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 ENFORCEMENT||
Colorado law applies to all public and private employers employing one or more employees in the state.
Before an employee may seek litigation for a violation of this section, there shall be nonbinding mediation between the employer and the employee. Persons inquiring may need to contact an attorney for legal advice.
Only employees who are not exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are entitled to breaks to express milk.
An employer that employs less than 50 employees may not be subject to the FLSA break time requirements, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer's business.
Persons inquiring about federal break time requirements should contact the U.S. Department of at 720-264-3250.
Resources for Employees
The following links contain information on breastfeeding, breast pumps, storing milk, and returning to work.
- Returning to Work While Breastfeeding —American Academy of Family Physicians
- Support for Breastfeeding in the Workplace The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions —Center for Disease Control
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding. Employees' Guide to Breastfeeding and Working —United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Breastfeeding: Going Back To Work —United States Department of Health and Human Services
Resource for Employers
The following links contain information on how to make workplace accommodations for nursing mothers, creating lactation support programs, how employers can benefit, and support for breastfeeding policies.
- Lactation Support Program —Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Family Matters: New Innovations Helping Employees Face Life-Changing Events —National Business Group on Health
- Supporting Nursing Moms at Work —United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Business Case for Breastfeeding —United States Department of Health and Human Services
House Bill 16-1438 Workplace Conditions for Pregnant Workers
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act makes it a discriminatory or unfair employment practice if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations to an applicant or employee who is pregnant, physically recovering from childbirth, or a related condition. Under the Act, if an applicant or employee who is pregnant or has a condition related to pregnancy or childbirth requests an accommodation, an employer must engage in the interactive process with the applicant or employee and provide a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the applicant or employee’s job unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business.
For more information, contact the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, §8-13.5-101 C.R.S.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 4207
29 U.S.C. 207(r)(1)(Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision)
Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers HB 16-1438
INFO #10: Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers
Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition
La Leche League of Colorado
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Information for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
American Academy of Pediatrics
9to5, National Association of Working Women
United States Breastfeeding Committee
Colorado Civil Rights Division
Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics | 303-318-8441| Contact Us