Are there any "model" states with pro-bf laws? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am doing a bit of research to forward to my local State Representative regarding breastfeeding laws. In my state, (Indiana) we have a law saying that I can bf anywhere I am legally allowed to be and there is also a law stating that employers must provide breaks and space for pumping mothers. I would like to see these laws enforced and need a little guidance to other states that have very good enforceable laws already on the books. Do these other states exist? I've looked at IL, OH, AR, RI, CT, VT, NJ, and LA, but none give, if any, specific fines.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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#2 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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Alaska- a woman has the right to breastfeed in public anytime anywhere. I think Palin also signed a breastfeeding awareness month? day? but I don't recall the specifics (not nursing anymore..)

I do remember the law though, because my students have always had a hard time finding pictures of Greeks and Romans where they were "all covered up" so I tell them that in Alaska women can breastfeed anytime anywhere and so I don't care if a breast is on the wall in the picture of a Goddess or not. (course these are hs kids, so..)

Always an interesting conversation!

I would like a pumping law enacted, though.. I don't think we are that far, yet OP, but I will try to find you a link when I have a chance..

http://gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=628&type=6

Palin enacts breastfeeding awareness month..

Most of the legislation links I have found for Alaska law seem out of date, though.. I can't find anything after 1998 (protects Alaskan women from indecency etc), and I am fairly certain there was a newer legislation passed after that (stating women's RIGHT to breastfeed)..

Maybe this will help?

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/breast50.htm
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#3 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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Our laws here in MN are pretty good (among the best, I guess)...though I still think they could be improved. As far as I know, there are no enforcement provisions like fines, etc.

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#4 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tine View Post
Our laws here in MN are pretty good (among the best, I guess)...though I still think they could be improved. As far as I know, there are no enforcement provisions like fines, etc.
we have the same in FL.
BF is a natural act between mother and child and shouldn't be interfered with etc... we are also protected from public indecency laws stating something to the effect of a breastfeeding mother can expose her entire breast during the act of breastfeeding or something like that.

I would actually like to see something on the books that fines or prosecutes anyone who harasses a breastfeeding mother. Who would I need to speak with or write to in order to get such a ball rolling?
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#5 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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Looks like Illinois does have an enforcement provision:

Quote:
Public Act 093-0942, SB 3211, enacted August 16, 2004.
Section 15. Private right of action. A woman who has been denied the right to breastfeed by the owner or manager of a public or private location, other than a private residence or place of worship, may bring an action to enjoin future denials of the right to breastfeed. If the woman prevails in her suit, she shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and reasonable expenses of litigation.

http://www.llli.org/Law/Bills18.html
Other states with enforcement provisions:

New Jersey:

Quote:
N.J.S.A. 26:4B-5,
3. a. The local board of health or such board, body or officers exercising the functions of the local board of health according to law, upon written complaint and having reason to suspect a violation of this act has occurred shall, by written notification, advise the owner, manager or other person having control of the public accommodation, resort or amusement of the initial complaint and of the penalties for any subsequent complaints. Thereupon, any owner, manager or other person having control of the public accommodation, resort or amusement receiving such notice who knowingly fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this act is subject to a fine not to exceed $25.00 for the first offense following initial notification and not to exceed $100.00 for the second offense and not to exceed $200.00 for each offense thereafter. When there exists no local board of health or such board, body or officers having the authority to exercise the functions of the local board of health according to law in the municipality in which a violation of this act has allegedly occurred, the State Department of Health and Senior Services shall exercise the functions of the local boards of heath for purposes of this act.
b. Any penalty recovered under the provisions of this act shall be recovered by and in the name of the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services or by and in the name of the local board of health. When the plaintiff is the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, the penalty recovered shall be paid by the commissioner into the treasury of the State. When the plaintiff is a local board of health, the penalty recovered shall be paid by the local board into the treasury of the municipality where the violation occurred.
c. Every municipal court shall have jurisdiction over proceedings to enforce and collect any penalty imposed because of a violation of any provision of this act, if the violation has occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. The proceedings shall be summary and in accordance with the "the penalty enforcement law," N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq. Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant and shall issue only at the suit of the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, or the local board of health, as the case may be, as plaintiff.

http://www.llli.org/Law/Bills28.html
Connecticut:
Quote:
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64, and § 53-34b
1997 Ct. ALS 210; 1997 Ct. P.A. 210; 1997 Ct. SB 260
Section 46a-64 provides: (Formerly Sec. 53-35). Discriminatory public accommodations practices prohibited.
(a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section ... (3) for a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child; ... (c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both.

http://www.llli.org/Law/Bills12.html
Hawaii:
Quote:
HRS §489-21, HRS §489-22

§489-21 Discriminatory practices; breast feeding.
It is a discriminatory practice to deny, or attempt to deny, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodations to a woman because she is breast feeding a child.

§489- 22 Private cause of action.
Any person who is injured by an unlawful discriminatory practice under this part may bring proceedings to enjoin the unlawful discriminatory practice, and if the decree is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable attorneys' fees, the cost of suit, and $100. Any action under this part shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the district courts as provided in chapter 604, and may be commenced and conducted in the small claims division of the district court.

Note that Section 489-23 states that the Hawaii civil rights commission does not have jurisdiction to enforce the law relating to breastfeeding.

http://www.llli.org/Law/Bills16.html
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#6 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Hawaii is my favorite, because of that $100 fine. The whole climate there is very pro-breastfeeding, and the nurses when my youngest DD was born were knowledgeable. (Something that was a wonderful surprise for me, since the ones in Virginia had been alternately clueless and discouraging.) Still remember that nurse who came running down the hall at 3am to bring me my hungry baby for a feeding.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#7 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Puerto Rico has quite a few breastfeeding laws:
§ 478a. Period to nurse or express breast milk.

Quote:
The period granted to breastfeed or to express breast milk is hereby regulated by granting working mothers who return to work after enjoying maternity leave the opportunity to nurse their children for a half (1/2) hour during each full-time working day, a period which may be divided into two fifteen (15) minute sessions, to go to where the child to be breastfed is being cared for, should the company or employer have a child care center in its facilities, or to express breast milk at the place provided for such purposes in the workplace.


(Dec. 16, 2000, No. 427, § 3, eff. 90 days after Dec. 16, 2000.)
§ 5165. Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
Quote:
(a) With the mission to maximize and develop the physical, mental and social development of all mothers, children, and their families, it is hereby decreed that it is the public policy of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to develop the return to the practice of breastfeeding and to sponsor the benefits for health in such activity.

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico hereby sets forth as public policy:

(1) To develop breastfeeding as the best method for feeding the newborn infant.

(2) To support the observation of the following elements in all facilities that render health services to mothers and children:
(A) A favorable attitude and ambiance in which breastfeeding may be effectively developed.
(B) Personnel that is capable and skilled in breastfeeding to render orientation, education, support and assistance in the practice of breastfeeding to the population that requests pregnancy health services.
(C) The sponsoring of the topic of breastfeeding in prenatal orientation and education programs for pregnant women and their relatives.
(D) The breastfeeding topic within the guidance and prenatal production program to pregnant women and their family.
(E) Support and assistance during the post-partum period for women who breastfeed.

(3) To coordinate the rendering of services and support in activities for the development of breastfeeding.

(4) To acknowledge the responsibility of all health providers to recognize, respect and protect a mother's right to choose and perform breastfeeding, even when same needs to return to the workplace.

(5) To coordinate with other public and private sector agencies for the development of breastfeeding.
(b) Upon the approval of this act, August of each year is hereby declared as "Breastfeeding Awareness Month" in Puerto Rico. Likewise, the first week of August is hereby designated as "World Breastfeeding Week" in Puerto Rico.
(c) The Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, by means of [a] proclamation published through all news and broadcasting media, shall exhort the Puerto Rican community to hold activities in behalf of the practice of breastfeeding and to develop ways to support collective awareness of such activity.
(d) The Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, in coordination with the Department of Health, the Office of the Women's Advocate, and all professional associations and organizations related to breastfeeding shall hereby hold annual activities pursuant to the purposes of this section.
(Aug. 22, 2003, No. 200, §§ 1-4.)
§ 43-1. Regulations - Outfitting areas to breastfeed and change diapers.

Quote:
(1) The Regulations and Permits Administration is hereby empowered and directed to adopt regulations, which shall provide that in shopping malls, ports, airports and public service government centers there shall be accessible areas designed for breastfeeding and diaper changing of children. The accessible areas designed for breastfeeding referred to in this section shall guarantee privacy, security and hygiene for the breastfeeding mother. Such areas shall not coincide with the area or physical space destined for sanitary services, commonly known as bathrooms.

(2) Every existing shopping mall that has a commercial area greater than one hundred thousand (100,000) square feet, shall be bound to provide areas for breastfeeding and diaper changing within twelve (12) months from the date of approval of this act. The strip centers or groups of abutting stores without common access that exist at the time of approval of this act, shall not be required to comply with this legislation. Every new shopping mall to be built, regardless of its classification, must provide areas for breastfeeding and diaper changing in their premises.

(3) All Commonwealth or municipal, public service government centers shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter, and in the case of the existing centers, they shall provide areas outfitted to breastfeed and change diapers within twelve (12) months from the date of its approval. All terminals in Luis Munoz-Marin Airport, Juan Morell-Campos (Mercedita) Airport in Ponce, and Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla, and all maritime terminals in San Juan, Catano, Fajardo, Vieques and Culebra shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter, and shall provide areas for breastfeeding and diaper changing within twelve (12) months from the approval of this act. Those airports and maritime port terminals not indicated herein are expressly excluded from the effects of this chapter. However, any new terminal to be built in airports that have four (4) or more boarding exits shall comply with the provisions of this chapter.

(4) [Providing, That] and reaffirming that every breastfeeding mother has the right to nurse her children in any place of public access, whether or not in these places are areas designated for breastfeeding.

(May 4, 1949, No. 168, added as § 1A on Jan. 10, 1999, No. 32, § 1; Sept. 23, 2004, No. 456, § 1; June 3, 2005, No. 17, § 1.)
§ 3518. Breastfeeding; prohibition of discriminatory practices.

Quote:
(a) Public policy

(1) It is hereby confirmed as the public policy of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, through the Department of Health, and in accordance with the public policies established by the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States; the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the importance of increasing the breastfeeding practice. The Surgeon General of the United States recommends that newborn children until the age of one (1) year be breastfed, except if it has been medically contraindicated, to propitiate that children achieve an optimal health condition from the time of their birth.

(2) It has been shown that breast milk provides a better nutrition and higher immunity against diseases, is better to digest, and may increase the children's IQ. Some sectors of society are against the promotion of breastfeeding. Likewise, the demands of modern life force new mothers who have a busy work schedule to choose formula or artificial milk to feed their babies. On occasions, some mothers are ashamed and even fear social repudiation or criminal accusation if they breastfeed their children in public.

(3) It is hereby declared that the promotion of family values and the health of infants demands that our society put a stop to the vicious cycles of shame and ignorance of men and women regarding breastfeeding, and in the genuine interest of promoting family values, our society shall encourage public acceptance of the most basic natural act between a mother and her child. This Legislature rejects that any mother should feel discriminated for breastfeeding her child.
(b) The right to breastfeed Notwithstanding any contrary precept of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private recreational place.
(c) Breastfeeding, prohibition of discriminatory practices Any direct or indirect act of exclusion, alienation, restriction, segregation, limitation, rejection, or any other act or practice of differentiation, including denying a person the total enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations in any public or private place which she attends, whether it is visited by the public or used for recreation, based on the fact that a mother is breastfeeding her child, shall constitute a discriminatory practice prohibited by §§ 3518--3518b of this title.
(d) Breastfeeding is not a violation to the law A mother breastfeeding her child in any place, whether public or private, in where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, shall not be deemed as indecent exposure, obscene act or other punishable action established in similar articles that comprise these conducts in the Penal Code of Puerto Rico, or other legal precept of penal or civil nature.

(Apr. 23, 2004, No. 95, § 1.)
§ 478h. Action to uphold the right; fines.

Quote:
Any nursing mother denied by her employer the period granted by this chapter to breastfeed or to express breast milk may resort to the pertinent forum to demand that her rights be upheld. The forum with jurisdiction may impose a fine to the employer who refuses to uphold the right herein established for the damages suffered by the employee. Said fine may be equal to three times the salary paid to said employee for each day she was denied the period to nurse or express breast milk.

(Dec. 16, 2000, No. 427, § 10, eff. 90 days after Dec. 16, 2000.)
FEEDING OF BREAST-MILK SUPPLEMENTS TO NEWBORNS

§ 3517a. Regulations.

Quote:
(a) It is prohibited in the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, for maternity centers, care centers, or gynecologic, pediatric or obstetric offices that treat women who are six (6) months pregnant or over, or children less than one (1) year of age, to administer maternal milk substitutes, glucose serum, water, or any other food or drink other than maternal milk to newborn babies and infants, without prior written medical authorization, or the express written consent of the mother, father or tutor. A mother who wants maternal milk substitutes to be fed to the newborn may also state her consent in writing at any time after childbirth. In the event of a medical emergency in which there has been no express written consent authorization by the mother, the prior medical authorization may be replaced by a subsequent authorization that refers to the possibility of an emergency.
(b) Doctors shall not authorize the use of said foods or beverages unless it is recommended by the best medical practices and to benefit the health of the infant.
(c) The Department of Health shall prepare brochures that clearly describe the provisions of this act within ninety (90) days of its approval, and shall make them available in maternity wards, care centers and offices of gynecologists and obstetricians; the materials shall be placed in visible areas in maternity service centers to be seen by all visitors and patients who are waiting or resting. Maternity wards, care centers and offices of gynecologists and obstetricians shall place said informative materials within one hundred twenty (120) days after the effective date of this act.

(Mar. 13, 2004, No. 79, § 3.)

§ 3517b. Penalties.

The Department of Health, through the Assistant Secretary of Health Facilities Certification and Regulation may impose fines of up to two thousand (2,000) dollars for each act of noncompliance with §§ 3517--3517b of this title, following the applicable procedures set forth in the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, §§ 2101 et seq. of Title 3. Said fine shall never be less than five hundred (500) dollars.

(Mar. 13, 2004, No. 79, § 4.)

Hope that helps

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#8 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Have you seen This? its a summery of the 50 states.

Ohio has a law on the book, it's pretty no nonsence. Something like "women have the right to BF anywhere they would have the right to be normally"

We don't have anything on the books about pumping at work. Looks like your state has that up on us!

I don't think a fine is necessary.. I just wouldn't go back to a place that didn't allow BFing. Or I would go back... with about 20 friends

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#9 of 15 Old 10-25-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kriket View Post
I don't think a fine is necessary.. I just wouldn't go back to a place that didn't allow BFing. Or I would go back... with about 20 friends
Just my opinion...but I think fines really help. Boycotting doesn't help when places don't want nursing moms there anyway. And nurse-ins are often fraught with problems. If a law has a clear-cut monetary consequence, there's no fuss, no muss; and businesses get in line more quickly. Also, the not-going-back (or nurse-in) approach doesn't work when it's your own employer breaking the law.

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#10 of 15 Old 10-26-2008, 06:51 AM
 
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Texas has a few laws protecting breastfeeding.

TEXAS

Texas enacted comprehensive laws in 1995 that set forth the benefits of breastfeeding, clarified that women have a right to breastfeed in public, set up standards for employers to advertise themselves as ‘mother-friendly’ if they develop breastfeeding support policies, and set up a demonstration project to determine the feasibility of breastfeeding support policies for all state employees. Texas also has a statute governing human milk banks. There is also a law governing breastfeeding services to mothers discharged early from the hospital; this law is effective April 2005.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.071
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 379, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

MINIMUM GUIDELINES FOR HUMAN DONOR MILK BANKS. The department shall establish minimum guidelines for the procurement, processing, distribution, or use of human milk by donor milk banks.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 165.001 et seq.
1995 Tex. ALS 600; 1995 Tex. Gen. Laws 600; 1995 Tex. Ch 600; 1995 Tex. HB 359

Chapter 165. Breast-Feeding
Subchapter A. Breast-Feeding Rights and Policies
Sec. 165.001. Legislative Finding
The legislature finds that breast-feeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values. In compliance with the breast-feeding promotion program established under the Federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. section 1771 et seq.), the Legislature recognizes breast-feeding as the best method of infant nutrition.
Sec. 165.002. Right to Breast-Feed
A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.
Sec. 165.003 Business Designation as "Mother-Friendly".
(a) A business may use the designation "mother-friendly" in its promotional materials if the business develops a policy supporting the practice of worksite breast-feeding that addresses the following:
(1) Work schedule flexibility, including scheduling breaks and work patterns to provide time for expression of milk;
(2) The provision of accessible locations allowing privacy;
(3) Access nearby to a clean, safe water source and a sink for washing hands and rinsing out any needed breast-pumping equipment; and
(4) Access to hygienic storage alternatives in the workplace for the mother's breast milk.
(b) The business shall submit its breast-feeding policy to the department. The department shall maintain a list of "mother-friendly" businesses covered under this section and shall make the list available for public inspection.

Section 165.004. Services Provided by State Agencies.
Any state agency that administers a program providing maternal or child health services shall provide information that encourages breast-feeding to program participants who are pregnant women or mothers with infants.

Subchapter B. Demonstration Project.
Section 165.031. Legislative Recognition.
The legislature recognizes a mother's responsibility to both her job and her child when she returns to work and acknowledges that a woman's choice to breast-feed benefits the family, the employer, and society.

Section 165.032. Demonstration Project.
(a) The Department shall establish a demonstration project in Travis County to provide access to worksite breast-feeding for department employees who are mothers with infants.
(b) The department shall administer the demonstration project and shall determine the benefits of, potential barriers to, and potential costs of implementing worksite breast-feeding support policies for state employees.

Section 165.033. Breast-Feeding Policy.
The Department shall develop recommendations supporting the practice of worksite breast-feeding that address the following:
(1) Work schedule flexibility, including scheduling breaks and work patterns to provide time for expression of milk;
(2) The provision of accessible locations allowing privacy;
(3) Access nearby to a clean, safe water source and a sink for washing hands and rinsing out any needed breast-pumping equipment; and
(4) Access to hygienic storage alternatives in the workplace for the mother's breast milk.

Texas Insurance Code § 1366.051 et seq.
Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1274, § 3.

This law provides that the health insurer of a maternity patient discharged before that statutory minimum stay must be provided post delivery services including assistance and training in breast-feeding. Currently, this law is part of Chapter 21, Article 21.53F, Section 5, Coverage for Minimum Inpatient Stay in Health Care Facility and Postdelivery Care Following Birth of Child; it will be recodified at § 1366.051 et seq., effective April 2005.

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#11 of 15 Old 10-26-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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I love Texas. Was born here, raised here, came back here ASAP once xH got out of the Navy. But our breastfeeding laws are hardly a model for anywhere else. Most of the legislation, in fact, is simple suggestion. It drives me nuts. Here in Bexar County, our breastfeeding rate is only 57%. (It's 75% or so nationwide, at six months.)

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#12 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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I think CA rocks on BF laws!

Exemption from jusry duty, pumping at work, BF anywhere. I was never afraid to NIP in CA, but in TX, no way.

Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. (AB 157)

Cal. Health and Safety Code § 123360 and § 1257.9 requires that the Department of Public Health include in its public service campaign the promotion of mothers breastfeeding their infants. The department shall also develop a training course of hospital policies and recommendations that promote exclusive breastfeeding and specify staff for whom this model training is appropriate. The recommendation is targeted at hospitals with exclusive patient breastfeeding rates ranked in the lowest twenty-five percent of the state. (2007 Chapter 460, SB 22)

Cal. Lab. Code § 1030 et seq. (2001) provides that employers need to allow a break and provide a room for a mother who desires to express milk in private.

Cal. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 155 (1998) encourages the state and employers to support and encourage the practice of breastfeeding by striving to accommodate the needs of employees, and by ensuring that employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding and expressing milk for their children. The resolution memorializes the governor to declare by executive order that all state employees be provided with adequate facilities for breast feeding and expressing milk.

Cal. Civil Code § 210.5 (2000) allows the mother of a breastfed child to postpone jury duty for one year and specifically eliminates the need for the mother to appear in court to request the postponement. The law also provides that the one-year period may be extended upon written request of the mother. [Chap. 266; AB 1814]

Cal. Health and Safety Code § 1647 (1999) declares that the procurement, processing, distribution or use of human milk for the purpose of human consumption is considered to be a rendition of service rather than a sale of human milk. [Chap. 87; AB 532]

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#13 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for all your responses! Your insight is SO helpful!
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#14 of 15 Old 10-27-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by onlygirls View Post
Exemption from jusry duty, pumping at work, BF anywhere. I was never afraid to NIP in CA, but in TX, no way.
NIPing here never scared me. In fact, it was here that I received my first positive comment on nursing. A woman walked up to me in the Commissary on Ft Sam and told me to keep doing what I was doing and not let anyone tell me to stop. It rocked.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#15 of 15 Old 10-28-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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You can find which states have penalties at these two maps:

http://www.mothering.com/resources/map.pdf

http://www.mothering.com/resources/laws.pdf (not all of the states with workplace pumping mandates have enforcement provisions in the laws - CA gave the Dept of Labor the power to fine but it took like six years for the department to set up a system (which they have) and NY law doesn't provide a mechanism but I hear the Dept of Labor is taking complaints)

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