CSU Policy: Accommodations for Nursing Parents

Policy Title: Accommodations for Nursing Parents Category: Human Resources
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 3-6004-002
Contact:
Facilities Management
Web: http://www.fm.colostate.edu/
Email: fac_pg_shared_dispatch@mail.colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-0099

Also Contact:
Benefits Office
Web: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/benefits/
Email: myhr@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6947
Original Effective Date: 4/28/2011
Last Major Revision: 5/10/2017
Print Version: Click Here to Print

PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY

State and federal laws require that all employers provide for the needs of employees who are nursing their infants. This includes providing break time and private lactation facilities.

The purpose of this Policy is to support the health of CSU’s working parents and their children by providing private lactation areas where breastfeeding or milk expression may be done in sanitary and comfortable settings, and to authorize reasonable flexibility in scheduling break times to allow for breastfeeding during the workday. It is the policy of Colorado State University to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations relating to the public accommodation of nursing parents.

APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY

This policy applies to all CSU employees and all campus units.

DEFINITIONS USED IN THIS POLICY

Temporary Lactation Area: a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a restroom, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy, that is not permanently designated for such purposes. A temporary lactation area may be used for other purposes, so long as it can be readily converted to use as a lactation area when required. For example, a conference room not in use could be used as a temporary lactation area, but care would need to be taken that anticipated break times for the employee are not booked for other uses. An office or cubicle could also be used as a temporary lactation area, but only if it can be made private, not open to view. Restrooms are not acceptable for designation as lactation areas.

Permanent Lactation Area: a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a restroom, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy, that is converted to such use, exclusively, for an indefinite period of time. A permanent lactation area should be equipped with, or in close proximity to, a refrigerator, a sink suitable for handwashing and dishwashing, clean towel dispenser, and trash receptacle.

POLICY STATEMENT

Colorado State University recognizes the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both parents and their infants, and in promoting a family-friendly work environment. Colorado law requires that all employers, including state government, must provide for the needs of employees who are nursing, as set forth in C.R.S. §8-13.5-103 - 104. In addition, federal law requires employers to provide break time and private lactation facilities, and allows states to enact more stringent requirements. (29 U.S.C. § 207(r)(1)). This policy will assure compliance with these laws while supporting the needs of our campus community.

CSU shall make reasonable efforts to provide lactation areas in close proximity to a nursing parent’s work area, where a nursing parent can express breast milk in privacy. Lactation areas may be designated on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the location and needs assessment. Lactation areas should meet the following requirements:

(a)  When reasonable, the lactation area should consist of a private room.

(b)  The lactation area should be private, with window and door coverings where required. If the area does not have a lockable door, a sign should be placed on the door indicating it is in private use. If the area does not have any door, then a curtain or screen must be provided in order to assure privacy.

(c)   The area should contain, or be in close proximity to a women’s restroom (or other clean, safe water source), with disinfectant soap and paper towels. However, the lactation area shall not be a restroom.

(d)  Where feasible, the location should contain or be near a refrigerator to keep breast milk from spoilage.

(e)  An electrical outlet must be provided for employees who use an electric breast pump to express milk.

(f)    The area should be equipped with a comfortable chair, suitable for use when nursing or expressing milk.

(g)  The area should be equipped with a counter or table suitable for using supplies.

(h)  The area must be reasonably accessible to disabled employees who are nursing parents.

POLICY PROVISIONS

Responsibilities of Campus Units and Supervisors:

(a)  Department heads and directors of campus units are responsible for advising supervisors and employees of this Policy.

(b)  All supervisors should be aware, and should inform their employees that reasonable break times must be afforded to nursing parents for purposes of breastfeeding or expressing milk. A flexible schedule should be arranged with the nursing parent. The time allowed may not necessarily exceed the normal time allowed for lunch and breaks, if that time is adequate; but supervisors shall take into account the proximity of a lactation area, available means of travel to and from that location, and any other factors affecting the times of day and amount of time required to reasonably support the employee’s request.

(c)   For non-exempt overtime employees, if, in the supervisor’s discretion, additional time is to be allowed, it must be unpaid unless the employee uses annual leave or compensatory time. Supervisors and employees should cooperate to arrange any additional break time so that it will not unduly disrupt the department’s operation. For time beyond normal lunch and routine breaks, the employee may request use of available annual leave time. An early start time or late end of the workday may be allowed instead of using leave, within the range of any specific hours during which the employee must be present.

(d)  The provision of break time, and the flexible scheduling to accommodate it, should continue for up to two years after the child’s birth, if needed.

(e)  The campus unit, once informed of the parent’s request, must take reasonable steps to identify the necessary accommodations. If a permanent lactation area has not been established within a reasonable proximity to the workplace, the department head should contact the Building Proctor to request assistance in establishing a temporary lactation area.

(f)    Supervisors are expected to be cooperative in making these arrangements and to respect the privacy of the employee with respect to the provision of accommodations. If the supervisor and the employee do not agree on the suitability of the lactation space, break times, or other arrangements for breastfeeding, the supervisor must notify the department head or director to request a resolution.

Responsibilities of the Employee:

(a)  An employee who anticipates the need to have lactation facilities and break times provided for breastfeeding should inform the appropriate supervisor as early as possible of the intention to continue breastfeeding following return from parental leave of absence. At least three weeks’ notice should be given when possible. The employee must also request only the amount of break time that is reasonably necessary for nursing, and must recognize that a suitable lactation area may be some reasonable distance away from the workplace.

(b)  It is the employee’s responsibility to provide containers and equipment for storing breast milk. If the lactation area is not equipped with a refrigerator, the employee should provide an ice chest or insulated container (e.g., a Thermos) and should remove it from the area after each use. The employee must also clean up after each use and remove personal items from the area. If the lactation area is equipped with refrigerator where the employee stores breast milk, the container should be clearly marked with the parent’s name, stored in a sanitary manner, and disposed of properly when not used as intended in the same day.

(c)   Supervisors are not required to consent to a request to bring the child into the work area when doing so would be likely to cause a disruption; nor are they required to allow the employee extra time to retrieve a child unless such time is reasonable, in the discretion of the supervisor. The parent will be responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the supervisor and childcare giver.

(d)  The employee must be cooperative with the supervisor and give due consideration to the needs of the department and co-workers.

Responsibilities of Human Resources and Facilities Management:

(a)  Human Resources is responsible for disseminating this Policy to employees generally (through the Human Resources Manual, when it can reasonably be updated, and the Office of Policy and Compliance website), and for assisting employees and supervisors in discussing and agreeing on reasonable break times, flexible scheduling, and other issues as may be necessary and appropriate. If an employee and supervisor cannot agree on these accommodations, then the supervisor shall request assistance from the department head. If the disagreement is still not resolved, then Human Resources should be consulted by the employee and the department head. In these cases, the final decision shall reside with the Human Resources Executive Director.

(b)  Facilities Management is responsible for assisting campus units with identifying suitable locations for lactation areas, providing necessary modifications such as window coverings, door locks, or signage, and, where necessary, equipping facilities with items such as soap and towel dispensers, trash receptacles, and the like. Facilities Management and Human Resources  will also provide guidance for Building Proctors in responding to requests for accommodations. If the employee’s campus unit is unable to pay for the necessary accommodations, the department head should contact the Vice President for University Operations for assistance.

Responsibilities of Students Who are Nursing Parents:

(a)  Lactation areas are primarily intended for use by employees. Students who are nursing parents may also have access to lactation areas, subject to availability. Student parents should observe the same practices as for employees in using such facilities. Students are required to check with the Building Proctor for the building in which a permanent lactation area is located regarding availability and access. Building Proctor contact information is under Forms and Tools, below.

(b)  Students are responsible for managing their own time. No specific requirements relating to class attendance, course work, or accommodations by faculty are intended under this Policy.

REFERENCES

For more information, or to schedule the use of a lactation room, contact Facilities Management at 970-491-0099, or contact the building proctor for the building location that you wish to use. A directory of building proctors is online at http://www.fm.colostate.edu/proctors.

Additional references:

  • C.R.S. §25-6-302. Breastfeeding
  • C.R.S. §8-13.5-101, et seq., Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act
  • Child Nutrition Act of 1966, Breastfeeding Promotion Program, 42 U.S.C. §1790
  • Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2000, sec.647, 41 C.F.R. 102.74.426
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 4207, amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 207(r)(1)
  • Building Proctor Contact Information: http://www.fm.colostate.edu/proctors

APPROVALS

Approved by: Anthony A. Frank, President, May 2, 2011

Version 2.0 approved by: Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations, May 10, 2017

 

Print Version: Click Here to Print

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