From the Hotline: Minnesota Employers and Accommodation for Nursing Mothers

Question: Under Minnesota’s Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), for what duration must an employer provide support to a nursing mother? Must a Minnesota employer make provisions for a mother who chooses an extended nursing period?

Answer: Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 181.939 and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Minnesota employers are required to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Neither federal nor Minnesota regulations address requirements for extended nursing (e.g. periods beyond the age of one).