The start of the year is a great time for Minnesota employers to review their policies and practices to comply with state laws on lactation terminations and pregnancy accommodations.
Employers are required to provide employees who need to express breast milk for their infant with reasonable break times each day. Effective January 1, the amendments prohibit employers from reducing an employee’s pay for time spent expressing milk. In addition, the amendments limit the employer’s obligation to the 12 months following the birth of the child.
The amendments also merged the provisions governing lactation breaks and pregnancy accommodations into a single section, Minnesota law section 181.939. This means that from January 1, employers with at least 15 employees (previously 21 employees) are covered by the pregnancy accommodation provision. In addition, there is no longer a duration or average number of hours per week that an employee must satisfy in order to benefit from accommodation rights and protections under the law.