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Connecticut Legislature Establishes New Criteria for Workplaces to Accommodate Breastfeeding Employees

  • Connecticut General Assembly approves bill establishing additional criteria for businesses to accommodate breastfeeding employees
  • The space provided for employees to express breast milk must now be private and have access to electricity and cold storage
  • Businesses must make efforts to provide these accommodations unless they will cause undue hardship

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Connecticut General Assembly has passed a bill expanding the amenities employers need to provide in a space set aside to accommodate breastfeeding employees.

The bill, which was approved in a 131-10 vote in the Connecticut House of Representatives and a 34-1 vote in the Connecticut Senate, updates the state’s existing law on breastfeeding in the workplace. Employers are already required to make “reasonable efforts” to provide a room or other location near the employee’s workspace, other than a toilet stall, where the employee can express breast milk.

The approved revisions to the law require that the space provided by the employer must be “free from intrusion and shielded from the public.” It must also have an electrical outlet and have or be located near a refrigerator or portable cold storage device provided by the employer. These features allow employees to plug in a breast pump and store breast milk.

The law states that these accommodations must be provided unless they will create undue hardship on the employer, namely significant difficulties or expense. The company’s size, financial resources, nature, and structural organization are taken into consideration when making this determination.

The popular bill was co-sponsored by 22 state representatives and two state senators. Its provisions go into effect on Oct. 1.

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