Oregon State University

Expressing Milk in the Workplace

Policy

Oregon Revised Statute 653.077 provides that employers will provide reasonable unpaid rest periods and make a reasonable effort to provide locations to accommodate employees who need to express milk for their children. In accordance with State of Oregon rules and law, it is the policy of the Oregon State University to provide a private location and rest periods to employees for expression of milk.

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Applicability

Eligible employees, including all academic and non-academic faculty, classified staff, temporary, and student employees.

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Expression of Milk

Expression of milk means the initiation of lactation, by manual or mechanical means, for the employee’s child 18 months of age or younger. 

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Employee Notice to Supervisor

The employee shall provide reasonable notice to her supervisor that she intends to express milk in order to allow the supervisor sufficient time to make arrangements necessary to comply with this policy. The supervisor must take into consideration the immediacy of the employee’s need when making these arrangements.

If the employee’s supervisor is unavailable due to illness or absence from the workplace, the employee is to provide notice to the supervisor’s director, department head, dean, or notice may be provided to the Director of the Office of Human Resources.

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Rest Periods

The supervisor shall provide the employee a reasonable rest period to express milk. A reasonable rest period, unless otherwise agreed upon by the employer and employee, is no less than 30 minutes during each four (4) hour work period, or major part of a four (4) hour work period. The employee shall, if feasible, take the rest period to express milk at the same time as the rest periods or meal periods that are otherwise provided to the employee. If not feasible, the employee is entitled to take an unpaid rest period of up to 30 additional minutes during each four (4) hour period to express milk. Paid or unpaid rest periods cannot be accumulated or banked by the employee for use at another time.

Rest periods for all employees are governed by State rules and laws, in addition to the collective bargaining agreement for classified employees.

If an employee takes unpaid rest periods, the supervisor may, but is not required to, allow the employee to work before or after her normal shift to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest period. Altering a classified employee’s schedule in this manner does not constitute a change in the employee’s regular work schedule or shift nor does it create an opportunity whereby penalty pay or overtime can be incurred.

If the employee does not work to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest period, the employer is not required to compensate the employee for that time. The employer may not require an employee to use paid leave time to cover unpaid meal and rest periods used for expressing milk.

A health insurance eligible employee will have any unpaid ret periods that are taken to express milk counted toward the number of hours required in the month to meet benefits eligibility requirements.

If a lactation area, as identified below, is not within close proximity to the employee’s work area, the time taken to travel to and from the location may not be included as part of the break period.

Close proximity is defined as within walking distance of the employee’s work area so as not to appreciably shorten the employee’s rest or meal period.

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Lactation Area

An acceptable area for expression of milk includes the following:

University designated lactation rooms;

The employee’s work area if the work area permits the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public, such as an office, and the area has an electrical outlet and seating;

A room connected to a public restroom, such as a lounge, if the room allows the employee to express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public and the area has an electrical outlet and seating;

A child care facility where the employee can express milk concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public; or

An empty or unused office or conference room, so long as there is a door that closes, an electrical outlet and seating, and windows, if any, can be covered. University lactation room signage will be used to indicate that the room is in use. It is preferable that the signage be adhered to the door, if possible. At a minimum, the signage may be placed on the door handle.

If a lactation area, as identified above, is not available in close proximity to the employee’s work area, the employee’s dean, director, or department head is responsible for assisting the supervisor in identifying and providing a private location for the employee to express milk within close proximity to the work area. A private location is a place with an electrical outlet and seating, other than a public restroom or toilet stall, concealed from view and without intrusion by other employees or the public.

The University will endeavor to include a lactation room in new building designs and, if feasible, in renovation or remodeling projects.

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Storage of Expressed Milk

The employee may bring a cooler or other container to work for storing her expressed milk. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring there is adequate space in the employee’s general work area to accommodate the cooler or container. If the employer allows employees access to refrigeration for personal use, the supervisor may allow, but cannot require, an employee who expresses milk during work hours to use the available refrigeration for storage.

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Breastfeeding in the Workplace

An employee may use a University designated lactation area to breastfeed her child who has been brought to her during her rest breaks by a care provider or another such individual. A supervisor may allow an employee to use a private area in the work place, as identified in this policy, for breastfeeding during rest periods if such use of the space is compatible with operational needs and workplace safety considerations. Should the supervisor have concern about the child being in the workplace due to potential safety or worksite issues, the supervisor is to confer with the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Director of the Office of Human Resources. In all cases, the supervisor has a responsibility to take into consideration the immediacy of the employee’s need when making lactation support arrangements.

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Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may be granted where the Director of Human Resources, or her designee, determines the exception to be in accordance with applicable rules and laws and to be in the best interest of the University.

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Dissemination of Policy and Related Information

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for providing policy and procedure information regarding this policy to eligible employees.   

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Guidance, Consultation and Complaints

Questions or requests for assistance in implementing this policy or obtaining lactation room signage may be directed to the Office of Human Resources or the Office of Women Advancement and Gender Equity.  Violations or complaints about implementation of this policy are to be directed to the Director of the Office of Human Resources.  

Reference: ORS 653.077
OAR 839-020-0051
Executive Order 99-10

Manual Contact (541) 737-3103

Contact Info

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Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
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