Effective Date: November 1, 2023
Review Date: October 31, 2023
Stonehill College is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive work environment for nursing mothers. This policy outlines the rights and procedures for nursing mothers in accordance with Stonehill’s values and Massachusetts and Federal Laws.
This policy applies to all nursing mothers employed by Stonehill, regardless of their employment status (full-time, part-time, or temporary), and includes exempt and non-exempt employees.
Massachusetts law expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. This Policy describes the accommodations and protections that Stonehill provides employees who are nursing mothers in compliance with Massachusetts and Federal Law and as well as our commitment to the well-being of all members of the Stonehill Community.
- Accommodations for Nursing Mothers:
- Lactation Room: If a nursing mother does not have a private office with electrical outlets, Stonehill will provide the employee with a dedicated lactation room. This room will never be a bathroom. The room will have a locking mechanism to ensure privacy, suitable furniture and, if requested, a small refrigerator to store expressed milk. If a nursing mother has chosen to use their private office as a lactation room, they may request a small refrigerator be placed in their office. This refrigerator will be returned to facilities once the employee no longer requires lactation breaks.
- Accessibility: If the employee does not have a private office, the lactation room will be within a reasonable distance from the nursing mother's work area, and reasonable efforts will be made to ensure ease of access.
- Multiple Lactation Rooms: If there are multiple nursing mothers in the workplace who require a dedicated lactation room, employees may be required to share the dedicated lactation room. Stonehill will strive to provide multiple lactation rooms whenever possible.
- Break Time:
- Break Frequency and Duration: Nursing mothers will be provided with reasonable break time to express milk. Break frequency and duration will be determined based on the individual needs of the employee and job responsibilities.
- No Deduction of Pay: Break time taken for the expression of milk will be paid, though the College may require that lactation breaks coincide with meal or other breaks provided in accordance with Policy E3.22. Employees will not be required to use accrued time.
- Communication, Documentation, and Support:
- Notice: Nursing mothers are encouraged to inform their immediate supervisor or the Human Resources department of their need for a lactation room as soon as reasonably possible.
- Documentation: Nursing mothers may be required to provide appropriate documentation, such as a physician's note or statement, confirming the need for lactation breaks and outlining the duration and frequency of breaks required.
- Supportive Environment: Stonehill will foster a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages open communication and understanding among all employees.
- Anti-Retaliation: Stonehill strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against nursing mothers who exercise their rights under this policy or Massachusetts or Federal Law.
- Policy Review: This policy will be reviewed periodically to align with any updates to state and federal laws and to incorporate best practices.