Q. We set up a room for new mothers to express milk, complete with a refrigerator and comfortable chair. Now we have a new mother back at work after just four weeks who has the grandmother bring the infant to the workplace every three hours for nursing. This is very disruptive. Can we tell her to express and store the milk instead? — K.S., West Virginia
A. Last year’s health care reform law said employers must provide a private location for nursing mothers to express milk. But the law doesn’t address actually nursing an infant at work—just providing a place to express the milk for later use. According to the DOL fact sheet, you appear to be doing everything right as far as providing an appropriate and private space to express milk. Nowhere does the fact sheet address actually nursing at work. You are free to tell her that her mother cannot bring the infant to work, and that she can only express the milk for later use.
Note: For links to a Q&A on the law and details on the 24 states with their own laws on this topic, go to www.theHRSpecialist.com/milk.