Achieving Best-in-Class Lactation Accommodations: An Employer Checklist
Whether you have an existing lactation program or you need a revamp in light of the newest federal protections, we have you covered! Our comprehensive checklist walks you through how to develop and promote your lactation program.
□ Review Federal Laws
While you may be familiar with the requirements of the FLSA, many employers are still playing catch up when it comes to two new pieces of landmark legislation that have greatly expanded protections for pregnant and postpartum employees:
- Visit our curated resource page to learn more about the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).
- PUMP Act: Applies to employers of any size. Requires employers to provide a private, secure space (that’s not a bathroom) and reasonable break times as needed to pump breast milk at work for up to one year following the birth of a child. Read our deep dive here.
- PWFA: Applies to employers with more than 15 employees. Ensures that pregnant, postpartum or lactating employees have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations like flex scheduling, time off to recover from childbirth, and time and space for pumping, just to name a few. Read more here.
□ Review State and Local Laws
Don’t forget about overlapping state or local laws. Employers are required to follow whichever law (federal or local) is more stringent. Check out Mamava’s handy resources for state laws.
□ Survey Employees
Find out what prospective and new parents need when they return to work and plan to pump breast milk. Get real feedback from your workforce with a survey. Here’s an Employee Survey template you can customize.
□ Designate a Point Person for Lactation Benefits
Appoint someone in HR to champion efforts for working parents and manage your lactation support benefits, including communication about the policy, onboarding materials, facilities coordination and regular benefits review.
□ Align with DE&I & Workplace Culture Goals
Connect with leadership about how lactation benefits will further equity and inclusion goals. Breastfeeding support helps women stay in the workforce. Equitable access to lactation benefits for all employees, including hourly, part time and offsite workers, ensures more vulnerable populations are supported. To advocate for workplace culture change, share our surveys and white papers with leadership.
□ Select a Lactation Benefits Partner
Partner with a full-service lactation provider for expert guidance on compliance and elevate your support of working parents. Kin by breastfeeding experts Medela and Mamava offers best-in-class products, services and education that’s affordable, turnkey and customizable. Contact us today to schedule a free PUMP Act educational session for your leadership team.
□ Fund Lactation Benefits with Wellness Dollars
Determine if your organization has access to wellness funds from your health plan, which often go unused sitting in reserve. Learn more about how to tap into wellness dollars to cover lactation support.
□ Create a Lactation Accommodation Policy
A written policy will clarify expectations, demonstrate legal compliance and celebrate your commitment to working families. Our research shows that parents expect transparency about lactation support. Start with our customizable Lactation Accommodation Policy template, which is updated to reflect new federal laws.
□ Identify Lactation Space
Tour your facility to ensure your lactation space is functional and comfortable.
- Is it private and secure (i.e. locks on the doors, window coverings, no cameras inside)?
- Is it near running water and a fridge for clean up and safe milk storage?
- Is there access to an electrical outlet for the pump?
- Is there a comfortable chair and surface area for the pump?
- Is it a central enough location that employees can get there in a reasonable amount of time (about 5 minutes or so)?
- Is it part of your facility’s regular cleaning rotation?
- Is it available to pumping employees whenever they need it?
- Can your worksite(s) accommodate all pumping employees (e.g., through a scheduling system and/or multiple spaces)?
- Short on space? Consider a freestanding lactation pod from Mamava.
- Access to Medela (#1 breast pump brand) equipment, including the Symphony multi-user breast pump and the latest time-saving innovation, the award-winning Freestyle Hands-Free personal use pump
- Lactation essentials, including disposable nursing pads, milk storage bags and specially designed cleaning products for easier clean up
- Telehealth service for 24/7 on demand access to lactation experts
- Celebratory gift box for new parents
- Tailored communications campaign sent at relevant points from pregnancy to return-to-work
- Education and resources to ease the transition for new parents
□ Train Managers
Evaluate what kind of culture and policy training is offered to HR leaders, as well as managers and supervisors who may directly oversee pregnant and pumping employees. Parents returning to work after the birth of a child need unique support, especially if they require time and space to pump breast milk. See our Manager Training Guide for ideas.
□ Communicate Lactation Benefits Companywide
It’s not a benefit if nobody knows about it! To change culture, it’s important for all employees to know that your organization is a breastfeeding friendly and compliant environment. Be sure to promote your accommodation policies and benefits through your employee handbook, intranet, newsletters and more.
□ Conduct Targeted Communication
Communicate early and often with pregnant and return-to-work employees to send clear signals of support about meeting their needs. Consider taking advantage of Kin’s engagement tools, including a celebratory gift box and a targeted communications campaign.
□ Promote Your Support of Working Parents Externally
Leverage your lactation accommodations by promoting your organization as a family-friendly workplace. Showcase and celebrate your support of working mothers on LinkedIn, your website and in company recruiting materials.