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NBM 2013 Week 4: Employer Support

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Tell Congress to Support ALL Breastfeeding & Working Moms

Employment is now the norm for women of childbearing age, yet breastfeeding mothers continue to face barriers in the workplace, putting them at particular risk for not meeting their breastfeeding goals. While more than three out of four U.S. mothers initiate breastfeeding, less than half of these moms are still breastfeeding at six months postpartum.[1] One of the main causes for the drop-off in breastfeeding rates is the lack of break time and a private place to pump in the workplace. There are a variety of options for cost-effective solutions that employers can implement in almost every work setting: these simple accommodations are critical for employees' breastfeeding success.

We know that workplace lactation support is a "win-win", benefiting both employers and employees. Employers that provide lactation support experience an impressive return on investment, including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover rates, and improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. The retention rate for employees of companies with lactation support programs is 94%; the national average is 59%.[2]

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding; the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention; and the National Prevention Strategy each call on employers to establish and maintain lactation support programs for their employees.

Yet in spite of this tremendous recognition and recent expansion of support for breastfeeding moms in the workplace, only some moms are guaranteed this right. Currently, federal law requires employers to provide nursing mothers who are hourly wage-earners ("nonexempt" employees) reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom location to express breast milk for one year after the child's birth. Yet this provision does not cover "exempt" or salaried employees. While this provides protection and support for the most vulnerable workers, this distinction in the law was unintentional and is causing confusion for employers and employees alike. The Supporting Working Moms Act would ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the existing federal provision to cover approximately 12 million executive, administrative, and professional employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers.

That's why we need YOUR help building support and gaining co-sponsors for the Supporting Working Moms Act (SWMA). Help us tell Congress that breastfeeding and working is not only possible, it's good for business. A mother's breastfeeding success shouldn't dependent on her job type.

There are three easy ways to take action:

  1. Tweet key Congressional targets: Click on the "Tweet now" links below to send customized Twitter messages to members of the Congressional committees charged with considering SWMA. With Twitter, you don't have to be limited to only your legislator: consider sending messages to legislators from several states in your region, or to those that are starred (committee leaders). Note: If you don't already have a Twitter account, the links will first walk you through easy account setup steps.
  2. Tweet your Senators and Representative: We've preloaded messages in the second chart below to thank those who have already signed on to co-sponsor SWMA: look for your Senators and Representative and use our easy tool to Tweet them with just a few clicks. Don't see them in the list of co-sponsors? Follow the instructions to send a message asking them to co-sponsor today.
  3. Visit your legislators while they are home "in district" during the August Congressional recess: The USBC, MomsRising, National Partnership for Women & Families, and National WIC Association hosted the "Action for the Summer Recess" webinar on August 8. Access the recording, slides, and toolkit materials to find everything you'll need to prepare for a visit with your legislator.

Customized Twitter Message Tool

Message 1: Federal law makes #breastfeeding possible for some working moms, #SWMA would give all a chance bit.ly/1dk873r #NBM13

Message 2: Surgeon General says to ensure employers establish & maintain lactation support programs 1.usa.gov/O0SqkA #SWMA #NBM13

Message 3: "A nursing mom is a nursing mom regardless of her job" -Anna, teacher denied pumping breaks bit.ly/1dk873r #SWMA #NBM13

  Target Legislator State-District Twitter Handle

Message 1

Message 2

Message 3

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Senator Tom Harkin IA @SenatorHarkin Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Lamar Alexander
TN @senalexander Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Robert Casey Jr.
PA @SenBobCasey
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator John Isakson GA @senatorisakson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Kay Hagen
NC @SenatorHagan
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Senator Michael Enzi WY @SenatorEnzi Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Tammy Baldwin
WI @SenatorBaldwin
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Michael Bennet
CO @SenBennetCo Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Richard Burr NC @senatorburr Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Alan Franken
MN @alfranken Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Orrin Hatch
UT @OrrinHatch Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Mark Kirk
IL @SENATORKIRK Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Barbara Mikulski
MD @senatorbarb Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Lisa Murkowski
AK @lisamurkowski
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Christopher Murphy
CT
@ChrisMurphyCT Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Patty Murray
WA @pattymurray
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Rand Paul KY @senrandpaul Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Pat Roberts
KS @senpatroberts
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Bernard Sanders VT @sensanders Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Tim Scott
SC @RepTimScott
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Elizabeth Warren
MA
@senwarren Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
RI
@SenWhitehouse Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Rep. John Kline
MN-02
@repjohnkline Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. George Miller
CA-11
@askgeorge Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. David "Phil" Roe
TN-01
@DrPhilRoe Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. Robert Andrews NJ-01 @RepAndrews Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. Tim Walberg
MI-07 @RepWalberg
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
Rep. Joe Courtney CT-02 @RepJoeCourtney Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Lou Barletta
PA-11
@RepLouBarletta Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Timothy Bishop
NY-01
@TimBishopNY Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
OR-01
@RepBonamici Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Susan Brooks
IN-05
@SusanWBrooks Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Larry Bucshon
IN-08 @RepLarryBucshon
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Susan Davis
CA-53
@RepSusanDavis Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Scott Des Jarlais
TN-04
@DesJarlaisTN04 Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Virginia Foxx NC-05 @virginiafoxx Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Marcia Fudge
OH-11 @marciafudge
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Trey Gowdy
SC-04
@TGowdySC Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Raul Grijalva
AZ-03
@repraulgrijalva Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Brett Guthrie
KY-02 @RepGuthrie
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Joseph Heck
NV-03 @RepJoeHeck
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Ruben Hinojosa
TX-15 @USRepRHinojosa
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Rush Holt
NJ-12 @rushholt
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Richard Hudson
NC-08 @RepRichHudson Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Duncan Hunter
CA-50 @Rep_Hunter
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. David Loebsack
IA-02 @daveloebsack Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Kenny Marchant
TX-24 @RepKenMarchant
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Carolyn McCarthy NY-04 @RepMcCarthyNY
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon
CA-25 @BuckMcKeon
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Luke Messer IN-06 @RepLukeMesser
Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Thomas Petri
WI-06 *does not use Twitter
   Post a message on Facebook!
  Rep. Jared Polis
CO-02 @jaredpolis
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Tom Price
GA-06 @RepTomPrice Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Martha Roby AL-02 @RepMarthaRoby
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Todd Rokita IN-04 @toddrokita Tweet now! Tweet now! Tweet now!
  Rep. Gregorio Sablan N. Mariana Islands *does not use Twitter Post a message on Facebook!
  Rep. Matt Salmon AZ-05 @RepMattSalmon Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Robert Scott VA-03 @repbobbyscott
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Glenn Thompson PA-05 @CongressmanGT
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. John Tierney MA-06 @reptierney
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Frederica Wilson FL-24 @RepWilson
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. Joe Wilson SC-02 @CongJoeWilson
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
  Rep. John Yarmuth KY-03 @RepJohnYarmuth
Tweet now!
Tweet now!
Tweet now!

Tweet Members of YOUR State's Congressional Delegation

Instructions:

  1. Check for your state's two Senators and your Representative in the chart of current SWMA co-sponsors below. If you find one of them, click the "Tweet Now!" link to send a thank you message.
  2. Are one or more of your Members of Congress not yet a SWMA co-sponsor? They need to hear from YOU, and other constituents! First you'll need to look up their Twitter account names.
  3. Once you've noted down the Twitter handles you'd like to target, click one of these two links, depending on if you're Tweeting a Senator or Representative:
    1. Tweet your Senator!
    2. Tweet your Representative!
  4. Replace the text "PasteTwitterHandleHere" with the handle of the Congressperson you want to Tweet (make sure there is still an "@" in front).
  5. Press the blue "Tweet" button and you're done!

Message to Co-Sponsors: #Breastfeeding success shouldn't depend on mom's job type. TY 4 co-sponsoring Supporting Working Moms Act #SWMA #NBM13

Not Yet Co-Sponsors (Senate): I am a constituent: pls support S934 to give all #breastfeeding working moms a chance bit.ly/1dk873r #SWMA #NBM13

Not Yet Co-Sponsors (House): I am a constituent: pls support HR1941 to give all #breastfeeding working moms a chance bit.ly/1dk873r #SWMA #NBM13

SWMA Co-Sponsor State-District Twitter Handle

Message

Senate Co-Sponsors
Senator Merkley
OR @SenJeffMerkley
Tweet now!
Senator Tom Harkin IA @SenatorHarkin Tweet now!
Senator Elizabeth Warren
MA @senwarren Tweet now!
Senator Lisa Murkowski
AK @lisamurkowski Tweet now!
House Co-Sponsors
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
 NY-12 @carolynbmaloney Tweet now!
Rep. David Cicilline
 RI-01 @davidcicilline Tweet now!
Rep. John Conyers
 MI-13 @repjohnconyers Tweet now!
Rep. Raul Grijalva
 AZ-03 @repraulgrijalva Tweet now!
Rep. Barbara Lee
 CA-13 @RepBarbaraLee Tweet now!
Rep. Sander Levin
 MI-09 @repsandylevin Tweet now!
Rep. Gwen Moore
 WI-04 @RepGwenMoore Tweet now!
Rep. Charles Rangel
NY-13
@cbrangel Tweet now!
Rep. Ben Lujan
 NM-03 @repbenraylujan Tweet now!
Rep. Frederica Wilson
FL-24 @RepWilson Tweet now!
Rep. Alan Lowenthal
CA-47 @RepLowenthal Tweet now!
Rep. Eleanor Norton
DC @EleanorNorton Tweet now!

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breastfeeding among U.S. children born 2000-2010, CDC National Immunization Survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/NIS_data/index.htm. Updated July 31, 2013. Accessed August 17, 2013.

[2] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Business Case for Breastfeeding. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau; 2008.