This year, Washington lawmakers approved bipartisan legislation that protects working mothers’ rights to a clean, private space and reasonable time to pump breastmilk. Protections like these help increase gender equity in the workplace and promote a more inclusive economy by reducing discrimination against women.
These changes to our state’s existing pregnancy accommodation law
passed the House 96-1 and the Senate 46-0.
Here are 5 things employers should know about the updated law
- The legislation – which goes into effect on July 28 – applies to every single employer in Washington state with 15 or more employees.
- Employers must provide mothers who want to breastfeed or express breastmilk with a private space that is not a bathroom.
- Employers must provide mothers with reasonable time to express breastmilk.
- If an employer does not have a private non-bathroom space, they need to work with the employee to find an alternative and convenient space to express breastmilk – and create a work schedule that accommodates the mother’s need.
- Employers must provide the clean and private space for two years after the child’s birth.
You can read the entire text of the bill here
– and a legislative summary here