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HOP 3.6.7 Lactation in the Workplace

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Sec. 1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance in accordance to federal and State laws on the responsibility of U. T. System Administration to maintain consistent standards on supporting and accommodating employees who wish to express breast milk in the workplace.

Sec. 2 Principles

U. T. System Administration recognizes the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for our employees and their families.  As such, U. T. System Administration is committed to promoting a family-friendly environment in which reasonable accommodations are made to support the practice of expressing breast milk in the workplace.

Sec. 3 Public Employer Responsibilities

3.1 U. T. System Administration shall:

a) provide a reasonable amount of break time for an employee to express breast milk each time the employee has need to express the milk;

b) provide a place, other than a multiple user bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from other employees and the public where the employee can express breast milk; and

c) not suspend or terminate the employment of, or otherwise discriminate against an employee because the employee has asserted the right to express breast milk.

Sec. 4 Eligibility 

Any employee may request a private space and reasonable time away from work to express breast milk. 

Sec. 5 Lactation Breaks 

Employees who wish to express breast milk should request lactation support or accommodations from their supervisor.  U. T. System Administration will provide reasonable flexibility to all employees who communicate their anticipated accommodations needed, including timing of breaks with their supervisors or the Office of Human Resources.

The amount of time needed to express breast milk may vary and there is no set limit on the number of breaks provided per day. Breaks must be reasonable and mutually agreed upon with the supervisor.

Supervisors are responsible for contacting the Office of Human Resources if any issues arise or if they are unable to accommodate an employee’s request prior to making a final determination.

Sec. 6 Lactation Facilities

U. T. System Administration will provide an accessible place, other than a multiple user bathroom, that allows privacy and is shielded from view and free from intrusion from other employees and the public where the employee can express breast milk.  The designated space: 

a) may be the place where the employee normally works if there is adequate privacy (for example, the employee’s private office or a lockable conference room or another identified space);

b) should have an electrical outlet, table and chair, lock or signage on door prohibiting entry when in use; and

c) should be within reasonable proximity to the employee’s work area.

When possible the lactation facility should be reasonably near a clean, safe water source or a sink for washing hands and rinsing out any needed breast-pumping equipment; and have access to hygienic storage alternatives such as a refrigerator or space for the storage of breast milk.  U. T. System Administration is not responsible for ensuring the safekeeping of expressed milk stored in any refrigerator on its premises. The employee is required to store all expressed milk in closed containers, and regardless of the method of storage, bring such milk home or dispose appropriately.

Employees at the U. T. System Administration building in Austin, Texas can utilize the Mother’s room in the 19th floor which is strictly for expressing breastmilk and can be utilized on a first come, first served basis.  An access code is required to access the Mother’s room and should not be shared by employees.  Please contact the Office of Human Resources for the access code.   If employee does not have a private office or is unaware of a lactation facility nearby they should inquire with their supervisor or contact the Office of Human Resources to be guided appropriately.

Definitions

Breastfeeding and Lactation: these terms are used interchangeably and intended to include pumping or expressing milk, as well as nursing directly from the breast.