Seyfarth Synopsis: Some states are recognized for setting excessive legislative bars with respect to employment rights and protections ( you, California). The State of Georgia isn’t one in all them. Earlier this month, nevertheless, the Peach State broke its mildew by enacting one of the vital stringent lactation break legal guidelines within the nation.
Since 2010, the federal Honest Labor Requirements Act has required coated employers to offer affordable, unpaid break time to hourly staff to precise breastmilk for a nursing baby as much as one yr after the kid’s delivery. The regulation additionally requires that employers present staff a non-public place that isn’t a toilet for these breaks. The FLSA’s lactation break requirement doesn’t apply to salaried employees.
Whereas Georgia beforehand had a regulation in place addressing lactation breaks within the office, the regulation didn’t impose necessities past what the FLSA required. The state’s regulation supplied that an employer “might, however isn’t required to” present a lactation break to an worker who “wants” to precise breastmilk “for her toddler baby.” The regulation moreover supplied that an employer “might, however isn’t obligated to, make affordable efforts” to offer a location in shut proximity to the work space, aside from a rest room stall, to pump breast milk.
In a transfer that instructions consideration from employers all through the state, Georgia ended its permissive strategy to lactation breaks with the August 5, 2020 passage of HB 1090, additionally known as “Charlotte’s Regulation” (named for a instructor whose supervisor wouldn’t enable her to pump throughout a break). The amended regulation, which is codified underneath Georgia Code Part 34-1-6, makes a number of crucial modifications:
- Offering the alternative for lactation breaks is obligatory, not optionally available;
- Offering a personal location aside from a restroom to precise breast milk in privateness is obligatory, not optionally available;
- Break time supplied underneath the statute should be paid;
- The age of the kid isn’t referenced; and
- The best to lactation breaks extends to salaried staff.
The regulation applies to staff who want to precise breast milk on the worksite, and through work hours. Employers usually are not required to offer this paid break time to staff who’re working away from the worksite. Additional, the regulation prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating towards an worker for expressing or requesting to precise breast milk, or for reporting any violations of the regulation.
The brand new regulation consists of an undue hardship exemption for companies with fewer than 50 staff. The exemption is accessible provided that compliance would trigger “vital problem or expense when thought-about in relation to the dimensions, monetary assets, nature, or construction of the employer’s enterprise.”
Along with following the brand new regulation (which is efficient instantly), we advise companies with staff in Georgia to evaluation their break or nursing mom insurance policies to make sure they’re configured to advertise compliance. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, or to your favourite Seyfarth lawyer, when you need assistance.