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Breastfeeding in the workplace is a protected act

Breastfeeding in the workplace

In 2013, the Hawaii state legislature passed a law that expands employees’ rights to express breast milk in the workplace. Act 249 was established under the Hawaii Employment Practices Law and put into effect in July 2013.

Employer responsibilities under Act 249

Hawaii employers with twenty or more employees must:

  1. Provide a reasonable break time for employees to express milk for the employee’s nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time the employee has a need to express breast milk.
  2. Provide a location, other than the restroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public that may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
  3.  Post a notice in a conspicuous place accessible to employees and use other appropriate means to keep employees informed of this right.

Employers who fail to comply with the requirements of this act will be fined $500 per violation and may be liable for damages suffered by the employee.

Employers with fewer than twenty employees may be exempt from these requirements if they can show that accommodating the first two points would cause undue hardship.

Additional Resources

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.

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