Among the many changes recently proposed in Congress to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), one that has not occurred is a repeal of the requirement that certain employers provide break time for nursing mothers.
Effective March 23, 2010, the ACA amended the FLSA to create a requirement that all employers covered by the FLSA provide reasonable break time, as necessary, and a private place, other than a bathroom, for non-exempt employees to express breast milk for their infant child for up to a year after the child’s birth, with limited exceptions. Covered employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempted from the requirement if providing such break time would cause an undue hardship. The break time requirement is presently codified at 29 U.S.C. Section 207, and no supporting regulations were enacted. The Department of Labor issued a fact sheet and frequently asked questions that provide basic information on the requirement and encouragement for employers to provide the same break time to exempt employees as well.
The American Health Care Act of 2017 (“AHCA”) bill recently passed by the House of Representatives did not include a repeal of the ACA’s break time amendment to the FLSA. Therefore, it is largely unclear if the ACA’s break time amendment will ultimately survive, as the Senate begins to work on its separate version of the AHCA.
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