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The Comment Period for New “Reasonable Break Time” Requirements for Nursing Mothers is Quickly Coming to a Close – Employers Should Decide Now Whether to Offer Comment

On February 16, 2011 by Schnader

Included within the more than 2,000 pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, was an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requiring employers to provide “reasonable break time” for┬ánursing mothers to express breast milk. Although the rule became effective immediately, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has published only preliminary guidance. Citing the varying potential impact of this new requirement on different employers and industries, the DOL is soliciting comments and information from the public to assist it in interpreting the Reasonable Break Time rule. Comments will be accepted through February 22, 2011. This comment period offers employers a valuable opportunity to influence the DOL’s interpretive guidance.

This Alert describes some of the DOL’s preliminary interpretations of the new rule and points out specific issues on which the DOL is currently seeking input.

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