What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding at Work in Georgia
Georgia state law elaborates on the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act regarding breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk at work. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding at work in Georgia.
Georgia requires all employers to provide employees with paid breaks and a private location to breastfeed or express breastmilk.
Prior Protection for Breastfeeding at Work in Georgia
Before the new law, Georgia did not require employers to provide employees with breaks or private locations for breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk. The old law encouraged the practice by stating that employers “may” do so, but there was no requirement.
The Fair Labor and Standards Act offered some protection for breastfeeding employees by requiring employers to allow hourly employees to take breastfeeding breaks. This act did not offer protections for salaried employees or require employers to pay their employees during breastfeeding breaks.
The FLSA did not require that employees provide a private location other than a bathroom for breastfeeding employees to use. The act also had a one-year time limit. Employees were only entitled to these rights for one year after the birth of a child.
Protections for Breastfeeding at Work in Georgia
Georgia law goes beyond the FLSA, requiring that employers allow all employees to take breaks to breastfeed or express breastmilk. The breaks must last a “reasonable duration,” according to Georgia law.
Employers must pay these breaks at the employee’s regular rate if they are an hourly worker. If the employee is a salaried worker, the employer cannot dock their pay or make other penalties for these breaks. The employer also cannot require the employee to use their paid leave for breastfeeding breaks if they are a salaried employee.
Georgia requires employers to provide employees with a private location to breastfeed. This location must be somewhere other than a bathroom and must be close to the employee’s workspace.
There is no time limit on these requirements. Employers must allow breastfeeding employees to take paid breaks for as long as they choose after the birth of a child. Prior regulations had limited these requirements to one year after the birth of a child.
Exceptions to Breastfeeding at Work Laws in Georgia
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide paid breaks or private locations for employees to breastfeed if doing so will bring an “undue hardship” upon the employer. This undue hardship must cause significant difficulty or expense to the employer.
Georgia does not require employers to provide breaks to employees if the employee is not at the employer’s worksite for the day, including if the employee is working from home.
Related: Georgia Employee Monitoring Laws
Georgia cannot hold public employers liable as long as they make reasonable efforts to abide by the Georgia requirements.
FAQs About Breastfeed at Work in Georgia
Are employers required to provide breaks for employees to breastfeed or express breastmilk in Georgia?
Yes, Georgia requires employers to provide employees with breaks to breastfeed or express breastmilk.
How long are breastfeeding breaks in Georgia?
Breastfeeding breaks in Georgia must last a reasonable duration according to state law.
Are breastfeeding breaks in Georgia paid?
Yes, employers must pay their employees during breastfeeding breaks in Georgia. If the employee is an hourly worker, they earn their regular wage during their breastfeeding break. If the employee is salaried, their employer cannot dock their pay for this break, nor can their employee force them to use paid leave for this break.
Are there other protections for breastfeeding in Georgia?
In addition to protections for employees breastfeeding or expressing milk at work, Georgia allows people to breastfeed in any public location where mother and child are allowed to be.