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Virginia Breastfeeding Rights Lawyer

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New mothers in Virginia may be unaware of their employment rights. If employers or others infringe on those rights, they should be held accountable.

A Virginia breastfeeding rights lawyer could help you fight for your rights and seek appropriate remedies if you are facing discrimination. An accomplished workplace discrimination attorney from the Spiggle Law Firm could also assist if an employer has retaliated against you for exercising your rights, filing a complaint for infringement, or cooperating in an investigation.

Rights of Nursing Mothers

Mothers who opt to breastfeed their infants have rights ensured by laws at both the state and federal level. Federal laws primarily address the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace.

While Virginia laws address certain work environments, the main focus of state law centers on the right to breastfeed in general. A Virginia new mother’s rights attorney could help you understand the different types of legal relief that may be available if your liberties are infringed upon by an employer or another party.

Federal Employment Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets wage and hour requirements and other provisions regulating employment, now contains provisions protecting the rights of nursing mothers. 29 U.S.C. §207(r) specifically requires employers to provide “reasonable” break time for working mothers to express breast milk in a location other than a bathroom. Importantly, this location must be private, meaning that it is separated from co-workers and the general public and shielded from view.

If an employer fails to provide appropriate break time or a suitable place for expressing breast milk, you may have several options for proceeding with legal action. In certain cases, it may be best to start by filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, but sometimes a lawsuit may be the most expedient course of action. A nursing mother’s rights lawyer could help assess available options for relief in Virginia.

Virginia Laws on Breastfeeding

Many teachers are considered exempt from coverage under the FLSA, but Virginia state law makes up for that for breastfeeding employees and for students as well. Virginia Code §22.1-79.6 requires school boards to establish places within each school where employees and students may take breaks to express breast milk. As with the federal law, the place provided must be shielded from view and cannot be a restroom.

State law also provides additional broader protections for nursing mothers. VA Code §2.2-1147.1 states that a mother may breastfeed on state property as long as she is authorized to be on the property, and a newer provision in VA Code §32.1-370 grants mothers the right to breastfeed on public or private property so long as she is legally allowed to be there.

Contact a Virginia Breastfeeding Rights Attorney Today

Sometimes employers retaliate against employees who enforce their protected rights, including their right to take breaks to express breast milk. Retaliation is one of the most common forms of illegal workplace discrimination, and employees who have experienced this type of unlawful conduct may be eligible to seek compensation and other legal relief.

If you believe someone has infringed on your right to breastfeed or express breast milk, it may be a good idea to consult a Virginia breastfeeding rights lawyer and learn more about your options to address the situation. For a free online case review from the Spiggle Law Firm, click here.