Understanding rights of breastfeeding mothers in Delaware workplaces

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Employment Law |

Breastfeeding mothers return to work with a multitude of considerations, one of the most critical being their need to pump milk during working hours. Employers’ support for this necessity is not just a matter of goodwill; it is also a question of law. In the state of Delaware, certain legal protections are in place to safeguard the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace.

When discussing the rights of a breastfeeding mother in Delaware, it becomes important to clarify what the law stipulates regarding time for pumping milk during work hours.

Delaware law supports breastfeeding mothers

Delaware law distinctly protects the rights of breastfeeding mothers. It states that an employer shall provide adequate break time for an employee to express breast milk for her child up to one year after the child’s birth.

Employers must provide a suitable space

In addition to break time, the law mandates employers to provide a suitable, private location, other than a bathroom, where a nursing mother can pump milk. This area should be shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Job protection for breastfeeding mothers

Delaware law ensures that no employer can discriminate against a breastfeeding mother. Employers cannot fire, demote or in any way retaliate against an employee for choosing to express milk in the workplace.

There are certain exemptions

While the law does provide protection for nursing mothers, there are certain conditions where an employer might not be required to comply. If the employer can prove that providing the break time or appropriate space would cause undue hardship, they may be exempted from these requirements. However, this typically applies to smaller businesses where such accommodations may be excessively disruptive or costly.

In most instances, Delaware employers cannot refuse to allow a breastfeeding mother time to pump. The law mandates them to provide suitable break time and a private space for this purpose. However, there might be exceptions in cases where such accommodations could cause an undue hardship to the employer. Nonetheless, these laws underscore the importance of supporting nursing mothers, fostering a healthier work environment for them and ultimately contributing to the well-being of their infants.