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Breast-feeding Policy Updated for Federal Employees

The Office of Personnel Management released updated breast-feeding guidelines for federal employees in the executive branch. The new guidelines are consistent with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires that employers allow nursing mothers “a reasonable break time to express breast milk” for up to a year after giving birth.

Federal employees must also be allowed accesses to a private room, other than a restroom facility, to breast feed or express breast milk. Federal employees will not, however, be compensated for breaks taken to breast-feed. The Office of Personnel Management has not announced a deadline for when the changes must be implemented. The legislative branch has already updated its policies.

The United States lags behind most other industrialized countries in failing to provide breastfeeding breaks, as well as paid sick leave, paid paternal leave, and other policies to support workers.

Sources:

Huffington Post 1/3/11; Washington Post 1/3/11; Office of Personnel Management Memo 12/22/10; Office of Personnel Management Feminist Daily Newswire 11/18/09

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