By Mitzi D. Wyrick
The recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as the federal Health Care Reform law, contains a surprise for many employers. Employers must provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” Only companies with less than 50 employees can claim it’s an undue hardship. In addition, in an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers will have to provide nursing mothers with “reasonable break time” (which has not yet been defined) to express breast milk for up to one year after the birth of their child. Many states (Tennessee for example) also have laws that entitle nursing mothers to time to express breast milk.