top of page

Legislation and Advocacy

Federal Law: The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act

The Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act was signed into law on 7.25.19 (Public Law No. 116-30.) The bill requires that certain public buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by members of the public to express milk. The lactation room must be shielded from public view, be free from intrusion, and contain a chair, a working surface, and (if the building is supplied with electricity) an electrical outlet.

Federal Law: FAMILY Act (S.463/H.R.1185)

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have reintroduced the FAMILY Act Introduced in House and Senate (S. 463/H.R. 1185). The FAMILY Act would ensure that workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, to recover from a serious illness, or to care for a seriously ill family member. The House bill was introduced with 163 original cosponsors and the Senate bill was introduced with 34 original cosponsors.

Federal Law: Supporting Working Moms Act (S.2122/H.R. 3255)

Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place for most hourly wage-earning (nonexempt) workers to express breast milk at work. Although it was intended to cover all employees, its placement within existing statute means that it does not cover millions of salaried executive, administrative, and professional employees, including teachers. While it provides protection and support for the most vulnerable workers, this distinction in the law was unintentional, causes confusion, and could be addressed with a simple amendment.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) have introduced the Supporting Working Moms Act to ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the existing federal provision to cover salaried employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers. The HHS Office on Women’s Health hosts Supporting Nursing Moms at Work, a comprehensive online resource providing businesses with cost-effective tips and simple solutions for all industries. Twenty-eight U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia also have state legislation to support breastfeeding in the workplace. At this time Maryland does not have a similar state law.

Federal Law: Affordable Care Act Coverage of Breast Pumps

Effective 8/1/12 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands health plan coverage to include breastfeeding support and supplies. Breast pump coverage will vary among insurance plans, so check with your insurance policy handbook or call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card to find out the details of your benefits. Before calling, talk with a Lactation Consultant about which pump is best for your situation, especially if your baby is in the NICU or you plan on returning to work and will need to pump on a regular basis to build up or maintain your milk supply.

Click here for more information .

Federal Law: Friendly Airports for Mothers Act

On Friday, October 5, 2018, the President signed the five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which included language that requires airports to provide lactation rooms that are accessible to the public. You can read more here:

Federal Law: Health Care Reform § 4207

An employer shall provide a reasonable break time [unpaid] for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth, and a place, other than a bathroom, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. Workplace Support in Health Care Reform

Maryland Law: Parental Paid Leave for State Employees

Governor Hogan signed a Paid Parental Leave bill for Maryland State Employees which became effective October 1, 2018. You can read more about this new benefit here:

Maryland Law: State Personnel – Rights and Protections for Nursing Mothers

Effective 4/24/18 the act requires the State to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child and to provide a place that may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

Click here for more information.

Maryland Law: Health – General § 20-801

A mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location in which the mother and child are authorized to be. A person may not restrict or limit the right of a mother to breastfeed her child.

If you experience a situation in which your right to breastfeed is challenged, you can report noncompliance with the Maryland law to the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division

Maryland Law: Tax General: Title 11. Sales and use tax: Subtitle 2. Exemptions: 11-211

Maryland was the first state to provide an exemption from sales tax for breastfeeding accessories that may be used by breastfeeding mothers. Exempt items include breast pumps, breast pump hook-up kits, breast shells, nursing shields, Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), feeding tubes, breast milk storage bags, finger feeders, and purified lanolin.

Baltimore City: Lactation Accommodations in the Workplace Ordinance

Effective April 15, 2019, a Baltimore City Ordinance requires employers of two or more full-time equivalent employees in Baltimore City to provide lactation accommodations to breastfeeding employees. Employers must also develop a written lactation accommodations policy. Under the new ordinance, employers must provide both a reasonable amount of break time and a location for employees to express breast milk. If possible, the required break time must run concurrently with any paid rest or break time already required by law (such as for retail employees or minor employees) or already provided to the employee. Any additional break time necessary may be unpaid. Employers must also retain records of all requests for lactation accommodations for three years from the date of each request. More details can be found

bottom of page