Everyone has a role in supporting employees and students who are lactating on our campus. This site will help you understand the University’s obligations to accommodate employees and students who are lactating as well as how you can help the University meet these obligations.
The PUMP Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk and Title IX requires the University to accommodate students who are lactating. Employers must also provide a place to pump at work, which cannot be a bathroom and must be shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public.
Departments are responsible for identifying or establishing an alternative location for employees if there is not an existing lactation room within a five-minute walk of the employee’s work location. Most often, this responsibility will be carried out by the supervisor and/or department manager. Supervisors and/or department managers should identify what spaces are available in the building where the employee works. You can consider using a conference room, office, or suitable storage area as needed. For more information about how to identify a location for lactation breaks, please visit womenshealth.gov.
Supervisors and/or department managers are also expected to consider whether there is a private space in the building that belongs to another department and to work with that department to access the space. If the respective department managers are unable to agree on a plan for use, notify the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC) so that we can facilitate the use of that space.
After a space has been identified, the department is responsible for providing and paying for a chair, a table or flat surface to hold a breast pump, a mechanism to lock the door from the inside or clear and obvious signage to indicate the room is in use, a working electrical outlet close to the table or flat surface, and any materials needed to provide privacy for the user from other employees who are lactating sharing the space or from windows. The department is also responsible for providing a mechanism for users to communicate with each other about scheduling, such as a paper calendar left in the room.
In the meantime, supervisors must allow the employee additional break time to travel to the nearest lactation room. For questions or assistance, please email email@example.com.
Departments that host events should also be prepared to support visitors who need lactation space.
Supervisors should be aware of the University’s Lactation Policy and of the established lactation rooms in their building. Supervisors are responsible for allowing employees to take reasonable breaks to express breast milk. Supervisors are also required to work with employees and/or department managers to identify a temporary lactation space if needed.
Faculty and Instructors should be flexible with students who may need additional time between classes to express breastmilk. Like employees, students have a right to break time and a private space to express breastmilk. Title IX provides protection against discrimination based on sex, which covers conditions related to pregnancy, such as lactation.
Room users are responsible for cleaning up after themselves after use of a lactation space and for coordinating a schedule related to shared use of the lactation space. Cleaning solution, paper products, and a method for coordinating schedules will be provided in each of the lactation rooms. If a lactation room is not cleaned or does not have adequate cleaning supplies, please contact the Housekeeping Customer Service Representative or request housekeeping services.
The EOC is responsible for providing access to existing campus lactation rooms via OneCard. To access a room, please email the EOC’s Accommodations team at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name and PID. The EOC is also responsible for assisting with determining appropriate temporary lactation spaces when an employee and supervisor or department manager are unable to agree on an appropriate space. Finally, the EOC provides accommodations for pregnancy and related medical conditions. Please visit the Accommodations webpage if you need information on additional accommodations.
Facilities Services is responsible for providing routine housekeeping for lactation rooms.
- Spot clean countertops & surfaces as needed
- Empty trash and spot clean trashcan & replace soiled liners
- Spot mop floors
- Clean and disinfect sinks
- Check paper products
- Dust surface areas
- Dust mop floors completely
- Wet mop floors completely
- Burnish floors
- Clean building surfaces
- Spot clean/dust furniture surfaces
- Vacuum floors completely
- Extract carpet (2x per year)
- Strip and refinish (1x per year)
- Scrub and re-coat (1x per year)
Lactation Room Locations
Locations for safe and discrete lactation rooms for employees and students who are lactating can be found on the embedded map below, or on the University maps website. If your building does not have a lactation room and there is not a lactation room within a five-minute walk of your work location, contact your supervisor and department manager to identify a suitable temporary space. You should share with them the information above about department and supervisor responsibilities. If you have difficulty identifying a temporary space with your supervisor and/or department manager, contact the EOC at email@example.com for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Check the map above to determine whether there is a lactation room in your building or a neighboring building.
- To access a room, please email the EOC’s Accommodations team at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name and PID.
- Rooms maintained by the School of Medicine can be accessed through the med school photo ID office (060 MacNider Hall, Level G, 919-843-3787).
- Employees and supervisors and/or department managers should work together to identify flexible spaces, which could include an unused office, break room, dressing area, conference room, or storage room. You should walk through the building to identify potential spaces, and consider rooms that can be made private with blinds or curtains, privacy shields, or other dividers. You should also consider whether different spaces can be used on different days. For example, using offices left open by co-workers who are remote certain days of the week is a reasonable option.
- Supervisors and departments are responsible for ensuring that the room is made private, including providing a mechanism to lock the door from the inside or, if a lock is not possible, clear and obvious signage indicating the room is in use. If a lactation space will be shared by multiple employees who are lactating or if a lactation space has windows, departments should use partitions, blinds or curtains, and other dividers to create a more private and comfortable space for the employee.
- Facilities Services offers a Plan Room website which identifies all rooms and their use across the University. This may be helpful in identifying potential space for a temporary lactation room.
- Contact Facilities Services to understand requirements and evaluate potential space. All lactation rooms must be ADA accessible.
- Departments are responsible for supplying furniture, coordinating and paying for OneCard reader and lock for the door, providing mechanism, such as a paper calendar, for users to share schedule information inside the room. Signage should be posted on both the outside of the door (how to access) and the inside (who to contact for cleaning, supplies, or difficulty accessing the space).
- Once established, contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to have the space added to the website and to the OneCard lactation room group.
- Facilities Services offers a Plan Room website website which identifies all rooms and their use across the University. This may be helpful in identifying potential space for a permanent lactation room.
Students and employees should plan for how they will store breastmilk until they are able to return home. Options may include bringing a cooler to class or using a refrigerator in a departmental breakroom, student lounge, or locker room.
Students may contact the EOC Office to seek reasonable accommodations, which may include assistance with class schedules. Students can also work with their professors directly to develop a plan for making up missed assignments. When possible, students are encouraged to contact the EOC Office for accommodations the semester before they will need lactation breaks to plan ahead.
On average, pumping may be needed for approximately 30 minutes every 3 hours, which does not include time getting to and from the lactation room or storing expressed milk. However, every individual is different, and supervisors are expected to provide a reasonable break time based on the individual employee’s needs, which can change over time.
Employees are not required to work during their lactation break, but they may choose to do so. If they do, it must be considered time worked.
Supervisors should not require an employee to complete work duties during a lactation break. However, if the employee chooses to work during that time and/or is not completely relieved from duty during the entirety of the lactation break, it must be considered time worked.
- Check in with your supervisor before your pregnancy leave to discuss a plan regarding your need for breaks, milk storage, and work coverage.
- Be prepared ahead of time with potential suggestions for lactation spaces if there is not one in your building and familiarize yourself with the lactation policy.
- Know that you do not have to share more information than you are comfortable sharing about your pregnancy or breastfeeding plans. All you need to share is that you will need time and space to pump breastmilk.
- You should go into the conversation confidently because your supervisor is required to provide you with reasonable break time and space to pump.
- When you return to work after your parental leave, revisit the conversation with your supervisor.
- Ask if anything has changed regarding the space plan you made prior to your leave.
- Provide your supervisor a proposed schedule for breaks, based on the frequency and time it takes you to pump, and work together to formalize that schedule.
- Talk with your supervisor about whether you plan to work during your pumping breaks. You are not required to work, but if you do work during those breaks, it is work time.
- If these conversations are not successful or if you have concerns about accessing time and space to pump, you can contact email@example.com.
- If you are a supervisor, remind the employees that you work with each employee to meet their needs and that you are not allowed to discuss personnel information with other employees. Redirect the employee by asking if they have unmet needs in the workplace that you can address.
- Educate employees about required accommodations for breastfeeding employees in the workplace and share that breaks for pumping are both allowed and supported. Supervisors’ support and cooperation are essential in helping employees access their right to breastfeed.
- Bystander intervention can help create a safe and welcoming environment for people who lactate on campus. You can show bystander support by stepping in to address or diffuse bias or harassing behavior that is occurring in the workplace or classroom. Colleagues and peers can intervene as well by interrupting biased comments or voicing their support for adhering to the lactation policy.