Montana Mother-Friendly Worksites Initiative

Families are healthier when their workplace supports women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Mothers are the  fastest growing segment of the U.S. labor force with 1/3 of mothers returning to work within three months after birth. Breastfeeding support from an employer can help reduce the barriers a mother may encounter when returning to work and  it is good for business! Offering a nursing employee support provides a 3:1 return on investment through lower healthcare costs, decreased sick time taken, higher retention rates and improved productivity. By meeting a few simple criteria worksites of any type or size can receive Montana Mother-Friendly Worksite recognition. 

Employer Lactation Support Resources   Mother-Friendly Designated Worksites   Breastfeeding Back To Work Resources

We provide free technical assistance to help your worksite set up the simple steps to lactation accommodation. Contact  Terry Miller, Senior Breastfeeding Consultant,  TMiller6@mt.gov for more information. 


What is Mother-Friendly?

 

Montana Mother-Friendly Worksites are businesses that support employees who breastfeed their infants.  Creating a Mother-Friendly worksite is both simple and inexpensive. Worksites need only provide: 

Nominate a mother-friendly worksite application here
  1. a private space (other than a bathroom) to express breastmilk;
  2. flexible scheduling for break times;
  3. a policy that states a space and time to express breastmilk.



Recognized Mother-Friendly Worksites

Becoming a Montana Mother-Friendly workplace is as easy as 3 simple steps and your worksite may already meet the criteria! Worksites of any type or size can receive Montana Mother-Friendly Worksite designation and be recognized. Workplace Printable ToolkitAlong with 3:1 return on investment, Mother-Friendly Worksites will receive:

1. Support in building your worksite lactation accommodation program.
2.  A Mother-Friendly Worksite window cling.
3. Official designation certificate to display at facility.
4. Recognition from the DPHHS Montana Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (NAPA), on social media, press releases and on this website!

Nominate your work worksites HERE

Both Montana and federal law recognize that breastfeeding is good for families and communities and mother's have the right to breastfeed in any location, public or private.  Furthermore, workplace accommodation laws allow reasonable break time and a private space for nursing moms to express breast milk.

  1. Workplace Breastfeeding Protection, Public employer policy of support of women & breastfeeding
    Mont. Code Ann. § 39-2-215 et seq. (2017) specifies that all state and county governments, municipalities, and school districts and the university system employers must not discriminate against breastfeeding mothers and must encourage and accommodate breastfeeding. Requires employers to provide daily-unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child and facilities for storage of the expressed milk. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location this activity. 
  2. Break Time for Nursing Mother Law, US Department of Labor
    US Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act  (2010) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide a nursing mother a place and reasonable break time to express breast milk after the birth of her child. The following is required: Reasonable time to express breast milk each time it is needed during the day, up to the baby’s first birthday, and a place, other than a bathroom, that is private to express breast milk. An employer that employs fewer than 50 employees and proves an undue hardship may be exempt. The employer must apply for exemption through the Department of Labor. Nothing in this law shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections. 
  3. General Breastfeeding Protection Public Breastfeeding
    Mont. Code Ann. § 50-19-501 (2017) The Montana legislature states that the breastfeeding of a child in any location, public or private, where the mother otherwise has a right to be is legal and cannot be considered a nuisance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, or obscenity. (SB 398). 
  4. Breastfeeding Law & Jury Duty
    Mont. Code Ann. § 3-15-313 (2017) specifies that the court may excuse a person from jury service upon finding that it would entail undue hardship for the person; an excuse may be granted if the prospective juror is a breastfeeding mother. 
  5. The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act
    (H.R. 866) Public Law No: 116-30 (2019) requires that federal buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by federal employees or members of the public who are breastfeeding. The lactation room must be shielded from view, be free from intrusion, and contain a chair, a working surface, and (if the building is supplied with electricity) and electrical outlet.