Breastfeeding bill in the works
According to a recent article in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) newsletter, a new bill is being considered in the New York State Assembly that would allow breastfeeding mothers paid or unpaid time during the workday to pump.
If passed, women would have the opportunity to pump for up to two years after the birth of the child. As a new mommy who is breastfeeding and planning on returning to work full-time in the near future, this sounds like a great idea. I'll be pumping several times a day, and while my new employer is very family friendly, it would be nice to know that specific time could be carved out of the day for pumping without having to haggle about it or duck away.
People take cigarette breaks that last anywhere from seven to ten minutes, right, and that is allowable, so why not for pumping? I would imagine most employers have no issue whatsoever with a woman taking a few minutes here and there to pump, but this bill would make it a law and a right.
And as another article points out, women may be more inclined to return to work for an employer who considers their needs by providing rooms and privacy for pumping. And I have news for employers, or anyone, who would nay say such a law: women are not going to stop having babies. As long as there are babies and mothers in the workforce there will be a need to pump, and a place and time to do it.
I have to admit, I took a new job because the company was more family-friendly than my last employer. That made all the difference in the world to me.
As we all know, breastfeeding, doing it in public, doing it at work, are hot topics. They always have been, always will be. Part of me feels like if there are laws governing such things, making it "OK" to do so, then people--employers, those we see at the mall when we stop to feed our screaming four month old--will hopefully stop freaking out about it.