Can I breastfeed in public or private places?
Yes. You can breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be.
Do I have to cover myself and my baby?
No. You do not need to use a cover.
Can I sue if someone does not let me breastfeed?
Yes. You can sue the owner or manager if that person does not let you breastfeed where you have the right to do so.
- Example: A mother began breastfeeding her baby in a cafe. The manager told her to finish in the bathroom or leave. The manager did not follow the law.
There are exceptions to this rule. You cannot sue owners of private residences and places of worship for not allowing you to breastfeed.
Can I get out of jury duty if I am breastfeeding?
Yes. If you are breastfeeding, you do not have to serve on a jury. You must ask to be excused. Look at the jury duty information you got in the mail for who to contact.
Breastfeeding at work
Can I pump breast milk at work?
Yes. Your employer must give you break time to pump every day. The break time may be unpaid. Your employer may not have to give you break time to pump if your job can't be done right. Your employer should try to stretch your regular break time to include pumping time.
Can I ask for a private area to pump at work?
Yes. You have a right to a private area. Your employer must make a reasonable effort to give you a private place near your work area. Your employer must try to find a place other than a toilet stall.
- Example: A mother asked for a place to breastfeed at work. Her employer gave her a dirty locker room that was too hot. Employees banged on the door while she pumped. The employer did not follow the law.
Who is an employer?
An employer is a person or company with more than 5 workers who are not the employer's family. Most companies are employers.
Who is an employee?
An employee for purposes of this law is a nursing mother who is:
- Currently working
- Returning to work after being laid off or taking a leave of absence within the past year
Can I sue if my employer violates my right to breastfeed at work?
Yes. You can argue that your employer discriminated against you based on sex and pregnancy.
Breastfeeding at school
Effective January 1, 2018, public schools and charter schools must allow lactating students to breastfeed or pump breast milk during the school day. They must provide "reasonable accommodations" for lactating students. This includes:
- Access to a private and secure room, other than a restroom
- Permission to bring a breast pump onto campus
- Access to a place to store breast milk
- A reasonable amount of time needed to breastfeed or pump breast milk
Schools may not punish lactating students for using these reasonable accommodations during the school day. Schools must provide lactating students with the opportunity to make up any school work missed due to breastfeeding or pumping.
Does health insurance cover breastfeeding supplies?
Yes. New health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support and supplies while you breastfeed. You may start receiving these services before the baby is born. Health care plans that existed before March 23, 2010 do not have to include these services. Ask your health insurance provider and your doctor about these services.
Are breast pumps tax deductible?
Yes. Breastfeeding supplies are a medical expense. You can use them as a tax write-off. If you have a flexible health spending account, you can spend pre-tax money on breastfeeding supplies.
Does the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) cover the costs of breastfeeding supplies?
Yes. If you are in WIC, your breastfeeding supplies will be covered. You can also get coverage for health care providers who specialize in breastfeeding.
Updated: July 2017