Legislative Spotlight: CB-012-2022-Nursing Mother’s Right to Feed (PGC Council
This week the Prince George's County Council presented and referred CB-012-2022-Nursing Mother’s Right to Feed legislation to the Committee of the Whole. This legislation would clarify all mothers’ right to breastfeed in County buildings or properties. It would also require lactation rooms to be located in certain County buildings/properties and establish requirements for employers with employees who are nursing.
When reviewing this legislation it is essential to keep the definitions of some of the terms that appear throughout the legislation in mind. For example, a County building here means any building/property owned, operated, or managed by Prince George's County, however, this definition does not include property owned or managed by the Prince George's County Board of Education. This means employees who work in Prince George's County Public Schools would be working in County buildings not covered under this legislation.
CB-012-2022 defines a lactation room as a hygienic place other than a bathroom, that:
is shielded from view;
is free from intrusion; and
contains a chair, a working surface, and, if the County building and /or property is otherwise supplied with electricity, an electrical outlet.
It should be noted that there are exceptions to this legislation that would exempt some buildings from the lactation room requirement. For example, public buildings/ properties may be exempt from the requirement if:
the County building and /or property – does not contain a lactation room for employees who work in the building; and does not have a room that could be repurposed as a lactation room or a space that could be made private using portable materials, at a reasonable cost; or
new construction would be required to create a lactation room in the County building and the cost of such construction is unfeasible.
As for requirements on the part of the employer, CB-112-2022 states that an employer would be mandated to provide "reasonable break times for an employee to express breast milk for nursing their child for one year after the child’s birth each time they have a need to express milk. They would also need to provide a private place shielded from view, other than a bathroom, and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, to be used by an employee to express breast milk.
The primary sponsor of this legislation is Councilmember Hawkins. If you have any questions or concerns about this legislation, please contact his office. The councilmember contact information can be found at this link.