New moms who need to go back to work after the maternity leave need to be able to continue breastfeeding their babies by pumping at work.

According to United Sates department of labor “Affordable Care Act” amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

The law applies to nonexempt (hourly) employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you are not covered by Federal law contact your state or local breastfeeding coalition to find out if you are covered by a state law. Many U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia have laws related to breastfeeding and expressing milk in the workplace.