Illinois Requires Paid Breaks for Nursing Mothers

December 17, 2018

A recent amendment to the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act requires employers to provide paid breaks to nursing mothers who need to express milk at work. While break time used to express milk may run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee, an employer cannot reduce an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk or nursing. The amendment also requires employers to provide a “reasonable” break time each time the employee needs to express milk for one year after the child’s birth. An employer is required to provide these breaks unless it can demonstrate that doing so would create an undue hardship. We recommend all employers have their Employee Handbook reviewed on an annual basis by SESCO to ensure compliance with all federal and state requirements.