Food and Feeding

Breastfeeding Laws

Vermont Breastfeeding Laws provide protection for women who nurse in public and support breastfeeding women when they return to the workplace. In addition, recent healthcare reform at the federal level put in place break time requirements for employers.

  • Vermont Law (Act 117)

    Provides protection for women who nurse in public.  Mothers have a civil right to breastfeed in places of public accommodation (schools, restaurants, stores and other facilities serving the general public).  For more information, contact the Vermont Human Rights Commission: 802-828-2480 or 800-416-201, or at www.hrc.state.vt.us.

  • Workplace Support for Breastfeeding in Vermont

    In May 2008, Vermont’s labor law was amended to include the following:

    (a) For an employee who is a nursing mother, the employer shall for three years after the birth of a child;

    (1) provide reasonable time, either compensated of uncompensated, throughout the day for the employee to express breast milk for her nursing child.  The decision to provide compensated time shall be in the sole discretion of the employer unless modified by a collective bargaining agreement; and

    (2) make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall.

    (b) An employer may be exempted from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if providing time or an appropriate private space for expression breast milk would substantially disrupt the employer’s operations.

    (c) An employer shall not retaliate or discriminate against an employee who exercises the right to provided under this section.

  • Break Time for Nursing Mothers - Federal

    FLSA § 7(r) (as amended by the Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148)

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide 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. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

    The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted below provide basic information about the law.

For more information:

Additional Resources