Baltimore City Councilwoman will introduce legislation to improve lactation accommodations
Baltimore City Councilwoman introduced legislation Monday designed to improve lactation accommodations and ease new mothers’ transitions back into the workplace.
Councilwoman Shannon Sneed — who often brings her young daughter to public hearings and council meetings — said all working mothers “deserve the ability to lactate if they return to work by choice or by necessity.” Mothers, she said, shouldn’t have to choose between their careers and their child’s wellness.
When her daughter was born, Sneed had an office in City Hall she could use to pump, “but a lot of women don’t have that,” she said.
“I’m thinking about those women.”
The proposed policy outlines higher standards for lactation spaces, which most employers already are required to provide under federal law. Sneed’s legislation calls for lactation spaces to be in “close proximity” to a new mother’s work space, have a door that can be locked from the inside and be equipped with a flat surface where a woman can put a breast pump or other personal items.
The space also must have a place to sit, an electrical outlet and a refrigerator where an employee can store breast milk.
The requirements build on federal statutes, which state that employers must provide a “clean, private space, other than a bathroom, for employees to express milk for their infants up to one year after each child’s birth.”
Sneed held a press conference Monday afternoon with representatives from The Family League of Baltimore, local union members and Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen to discuss the legislation further.
Source: The Baltimore Sun