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Connecticut has two laws concerning breastfeeding. The first is in reference to nursing in places of public accommodation, more commonly known as "breastfeeding in public" law. The second has to do with laws that address mother's rights to breastfeeding in the workplace. The breastfeeding in the workplace law is now enhanced by the federal law. The laws are summarized below. For more detailed information about these laws, please see the following document that the CBC released in October 2011 in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, The Connecticut Department of Labor and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Guide To Nondiscrimination and Workplace Accomodation Laws:
1. BREASTFEEDING IN PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION
Connecticut General Statutes §46a-64 allows mothers to breastfeed their babies in places of public accommodation. This law is enforced by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), which enforces anti-discrimination laws in the State of Connecticut.
This law states that mothers can generally breastfeed at a time, place and manner of their choosing while in a place of public accommodation. They do not have to go to a special area or go into the restroom. They do not have to cover the baby with a towel or blanket. The owner, manager or employee of a place of public accommodation cannot request that the mother stop breastfeeding her baby, cover up, move to a different room or area, or leave.
2. BREASTFEEDING IN THE WORKPLACE
Connecticut law (Connecticut General Statutes Section 31-40w) and Federal law (Public Law 111-148, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, amending Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act), state that your employer must allow you to breastfeed or express breast milk at work.
The Connecticut law applies to all businesses in Connecticut no matter the size. The Connecticut Breastfeeding in the Workplace Law is enforced by the Connecticut Department of Labor. The federal law also applies to all businesses; however, if your business has fewer than 50 employees, it may be exempt from providing a break time for an employee to express milk or breastfeed if it would cause the business an “undue hardship.” For guidance on what would constitute an “undue hardship” under the federal law, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s fact sheet: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.htm
For more information and printable documents, please see the handouts page of this website.
The CBC is interested in hearing from you. If you or someone you know feels that your rights have been violated with regard to breastfeeding in public and/or in your place of employment please contact us. We can provide confidential information and guidance including contact information if you wish to file a formal complaint.