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Legal Brief: Lactation Rooms Now Available for New Moms

Posted Nov. 28, 2011

"Legal Briefs" appears in e-Inside monthly to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online. If you have a topic for a future legal brief, send the information to legal@kent.edu.

Faculty and staff who are nursing mothers now have the option of using a lactation room. Kent State recently designated several lactation rooms on the Kent Campus.

The resource for new mothers is part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the federal health care reform law). The legislation requires employers to provide nursing mothers with reasonable break time to express breast milk for the first year following the birth of a child. A room must also be provided to express milk and the room must be shielded from view, free from intrusion by co-workers and the public and cannot be a bathroom.

There are three designated lactation rooms on the Kent Campus, with additional rooms planned. The locations are situated in various parts of the campus, to make access easier for employees. The existing locations, along with contact information, are:

  • The Women’s Center – this room is also available to students and has a breast pump machine (330-672-9230).
  • Harbourt Hall - Room 116A in the new location for the Office of the University Architect (330-672-3880).
  • Schwartz Center – Room 151 (Contact Susan Veppert at 330-672-2444).

The Office of the University Architect will supply each room with a small refrigerator, table and chair. The Office of the University Architect is also working with the Regional Campuses to designate a lactation room at each location. As locations are added, the list will be updated and available online.

Use of the lactation rooms is optional for nursing moms. Employees who wish to use one of the rooms should call the phone number listed above for that location prior to your first visit, to make arrangements and determine a schedule.

While the federal legislation does not require employers to pay employees for the time spent nursing, Kent State employees are permitted to use break and lunch time for this purpose. Additional, reasonable breaks will be permitted as needed.

The Division of Human Resources and the Office of the University Architect worked together to determine the room locations and the guidelines. Nursing mothers who may need other arrangements should contact Carla Wyckoff, Human Resources communications manager, at 330-672-5857 or cwyckof1@kent.edu.