Illinois Governor Signs Amendments To Nursing Mothers Workplace Act
Since July 2001, Illinois has required employers with 5 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations for employees who want to express breast milk. This requirement includes providing a private room, other than a bathroom, which is in close proximity to the employee’s work area.
In August 2018, certain amendments were added to the Act, which became effective immediately. The changes are as follows: (a) nursing breaks are to be taken on a reasonable basis (as opposed to having mothers schedule breaks with employers); (b) the employer hardship exception is now defined as: if the break would “create an undue hardship” (as opposed to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations); and (c) employers cannot reduce an employee’s compensation for time used for expressing milk or nursing. Though the statute does not specifically state that breaks must be paid, that is the implication of the change.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact an employment attorney at Golan Christie Taglia, LLP.