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Federal Workplace Law

Where should you go for help?

If you are having trouble with breastfeeding or pumping, contact your doctor or a lactation consultant. You can also find help at your local Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC) office or La Leche League group or by calling the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9662. Find a lactation consultant in your area.

Resource and Referral Guide for Breastfeeding Employees and their Employers

The charts below outline organizations that provide information or support related to workplace lactation accommodation and discrimination. Find key information about their work and how to contact them.

Download the PDF.

General Information about Workplace Law

Type of Support Needed

Organization Name

Summary of Workplace Support Services

Priority Inquiries

Contact Procedures

  • Information on workplace breastfeeding law and enforcement
  • Implementation Support
  • Policy Development

State, Tribal, Territorial, and Local Breastfeeding Coalitions

Many breastfeeding coalitions provide support for employees and employers to understand their rights and obligations, and implement workplace support programs and policies.

Programs and capacity of breastfeeding coalitions vary from state to state. Early communication with coalitions is recommended.

Visit the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s Coalitions Directory to find your state breastfeeding coalition.

  • Information on workplace breastfeeding law and enforcement

United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)

The USBC responds to inquiries from employees and employers, providing resources and connecting individuals to federal enforcement contacts or other organizations as appropriate. Inquiry trends are assessed and shared with state breastfeeding coalitions and national partners to support expansion and implementation of workplace lactation accommodation laws. In addition, the USBC publishes an Online Workplace Guide that includes an analysis of the intersection of state and federal law.

USBC accepts all workplace inquiries from mothers and employers, as well as advocates working to expand and implement workplace accommodation laws.

Send inquiries to or call the USBC’s workplace project manager at 773-359-1549 x 21.

  • Information on workplace breastfeeding law and enforcement
  • Resource referral

Job Accommodations Network (JAN)

JAN’s consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation. Assistance is available both over the phone and online. Those who can benefit from JAN’s services include private employers of all sizes, government agencies, employee representatives, and service providers, as well as people with disabilities and their families. In addition, JAN publishes a list of resources for breastfeeding employees.

Employees and employers seeking support with implementation of workplace lactation accommodations can contact JAN for support and assistance.

Individuals can contact JAN and request consultation or information services by calling (800) 526-7234 or by emailing

Filing a Complaint

Filing a Complaint

Type of Support Needed

Organization Name

Summary of Workplace Support Services

Priority Inquiries

Contact Procedures

  • Clarification of "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" law eligibility and requirements
  • File a complaint for violation

U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcement of the federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law. Breastfeeding employees who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act can issue a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division. The WHD conducts investigations in order to determine compliance with the law. Where violations are found, they may recommend changes in employment practices to bring an employer into compliance.

If an employer refuses to accommodate a breastfeeding employee, employees can file a complaint with the WHD to initiate an investigation.

File a complaint by calling the WHD toll-free information and helpline at (800) 487-9243. You will then be directed to your nearest WHD office for assistance.

  • Clarification of discrimination law eligibility and requirements, including sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • File a charge

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sex, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

The EEOC online assessment tool can help individuals decide if EEOC is the correct agency to assist them.

Individuals can call (800) 669-4000 or visit the EEOC website for more information on filing a charge and filing deadlines. File a charge of employment discrimination at the EEOC office closest to home, or at any of the EEOC’s 53 field offices. Important Note: Federal sector employees have a different complaint process.

  • Clarification of state law eligibility and requirements
  • File a complaint

State Regulatory Agencies

Many states have state legislation requiring workplace lactation accommodations and/or prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of lactation. State agencies responsible for enforcement of these laws may be able to provide support to employers or employees with questions or complaints.

State regulatory agencies enforcement procedures depend on the specific components considered in the state’s workplace lactation legislation.

The U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau published a map of Employment Protections For Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing. It is recommended that individuals contact their state breastfeeding coalition for information on state regulatory agencies.

Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance

Type of Support Needed

Organization Name

Summary of Workplace Support Services

Priority Inquiries

Contact Procedures

  • Advice about the legal rights of breastfeeding employees and students
  • Referrals to attorneys across the U.S. who specialize in discrimination law
  • Analysis of laws protecting breastfeeding employees and students

Center for WorkLife Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

The Center for WorkLife Law operates a free legal hotline that provides information and attorney referrals (as appropriate) to employees and students. WorkLife Law attorneys serve as a resource to advocates seeking clarification about the laws that protect nursing mothers at work and in school, and provide guidance to employers and university administrators interested in best practices for complying with the law.

Employees, students, and their advocates who are seeking information about nursing mothers’ legal rights at work and school, and women seeking referrals to attorneys.

Contact the Center for WorkLife Law by emailing or by calling (415) 703-8276.

  • Information on workplace breastfeeding law and enforcement
  • Legal support/services

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

ACLU defends individual rights and liberties by bringing impact litigation and conducting advocacy at the state and federal levels to advance or defend civil liberties. ACLU works to end workplace discrimination, including discrimination against women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, ACLU publishes materials to help individuals understand their rights.

ACLU is focused on structural barriers and failure to accommodate pregnancy and breastfeeding, particularly in male-dominated industries and low-wage sectors, like uniformed services, construction, airlines, manufacturing, retail and restaurant work, domestic work, etc. They are also interested in big box retailers or chains/franchises that are not providing adequate accommodations.

Individuals can submit inquiries to the ACLU on sex discrimination in employment using the online form.

  • State by State Know Your Rights information around workplace breastfeeding laws
  • Legal support/services

A Better Balance (ABB)

A Better Balance’s mission is to promote equality and expand choices for men and women at all income levels so they may care for their families without sacrificing their economic security. ABB employs a range of legal strategies to promote flexible workplace policies, end discrimination against caregivers, and value the work of caring for families. ABB also maintains a state-by-state Know Your Rights webpage for pregnant and parenting workers.

ABB focuses on supporting low-wage workers, particularly when they face difficulties at work around their pregnancy and breastfeeding-related needs. ABB speaks with workers even before problems arise, when they are seeking information about their rights or tips to negotiate with an employer. They also represent individuals in more formal legal pursuits.

Find more information at and, or call the ABB hotlines at (212) 430-5982 or (615) 915-2417 (Southern Office).

Resources identified as of June 2016

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