ANNAPOLIS — A Frederick County delegate would like state employees who are nursing mothers to have a place to pump.

Delegate Carol Krimm (D-District 3A) on Tuesday presented House Bill 306 to the House Appropriations Committee. The bill, following federal law, would require state entities to provide a break time and a private place for employees to express breast milk.

Krimm noted that even the State House did not have a dedicated nursing space.

The purpose of the bill was to codify in Maryland law what is already an existing practice required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Krimm said. The federal break requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

However, the proposed law differs from the Fair Labor Standards Act in key ways. The federal law applies to nonexempt employees — those entitled to overtime pay — and the state law, if passed, would extend to all employees.

Like the federal law, the state bill requires state entities to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from public view for nursing mothers to pump.

Krimm’s proposal would allow breaks any time the nursing mother needs to pump for one year after her child’s birth.

An analysis from the Department of Legislative Services stated that a nursing mother would typically need to express breast milk two to three times during an eight-hour shift, given that a newborn may need as many as eight to 12 feedings per day.

Not being able to pump could lead to a drop in milk supply or infection, the department noted.

Maryland has laws that allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. But if Krimm’s proposal were to become law, the state would join 28 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that have laws specifically related to breastfeeding in the workplace.

Various organizations submitted statements in support of the measure including the American Academy of Pediatrics, The March of Dimes, Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition, the Women’s Law Center and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(8) comments

ma23464

Oh and there is a law allowing breast feeding in public? Seriously?? A law was passed to allow a human the "right" to feed its child. This is where everyone gets all screwed up. See breastfeeding is not something a law should allow. It's a human freaking right. The most basic one after birth. What's next. Are we going to pass a law to allow women to give birth?

elymus43

Is this the best issue that Carol Krimm can come up with?????????? Hopefully, the voters will return her back to Frederick in the next election................

shiftless88

Wow! Some hostile males who don't get it are commenting today. Imagine if your work had no stalls but just toilets sitting there in the open where everyone could watch you poop. How would you feel about that?

rbtdt5

So breastfeeding is like pooping?

shiftless88

this isn't about breastfeeding, it is about pumping. Do you know what that is and what it entails? From an "exposure" standpoint it is about like pooping. Women need some privacy and time to do this.

ma23464

Actually you would mind more then I would. I have no problem taking a dump right in tony of you. And if you need to pump the milk. Just find a nice quite place and pump away. Why do we need a law to pump breast milk. Stupid.

User1

Thank you Carol, at least you have your priorities in order. With the budget crises, the opioid crises, the immigration crises. Let’s focus on extra breaks for nursing women who made a choice, special break room. And let’s not forget the pending legislation to exempt female hygiene products from sales tax. These are the real issues. Glad to see where YOUR priorities are!

rbourassa99

Thank you, Delegate Krimm! Important legislation for new parents ❤️

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