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Intelligent HR Management Solutions that


Intelligent HR Management Solutions that Promote Growth and Reduce Risk Prevalent Practices Regarding Workplace Breastfeeding Presented by: Michelle Pedzich HR Works ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intelligent HR Management Solutions that

  • Intelligent HR Management Solutions that
  • Promote Growth and Reduce Risk

Prevalent Practices Regarding Workplace
  • Presented by
  • Michelle Pedzich
  • HR Works, Inc.

For Finger Lakes Regional Perinatal Forum
January 29, 2009
  • Current climate and the case for breastfeeding
  • The court report
  • Breastfeeding and the law in New York State
  • Employer accommodations in the workplace
  • The word on the street local examples

  • Director of Compliance at HR Works, Inc.
  • Working mother of a seven year old daughter
  • Returned to work nine weeks after giving birth
  • Pumped until five months
  • Nursed until ten months

Recent Press
  • Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not obscene!
  • Photos of nursing moms flagged for removal
  • Members cannot upload photos that are obscene,
    pornographic, or sexually explicit
  • Over 100,000 changing their photos and staging a

Other famous headlines
  • California Mother, Rachel Poppelwell
  • Work trip to Las Vegas
  • Expressed 6 ounces of breast milk to take home to
    9 month old
  • Showed screener who made her throw it away since
    her baby was not with her
  • Different Airline
  • Screener forced mother to sample her breast milk
    to prove it wasnt a dangerous substance

Current Climate
  • US Breastfeeding rates at recorded highs
  • Over 50 of mothers with children less than one
    year of age are in the labor force
  • 70 of women with children under three years of
    age work full-time
  • One-third of mothers return to work within three
    months of giving birth
  • In 2002, 70.1 of mothers initiating
    breastfeeding in the hospital while 33.2
    continued for six months
  • Sources Mothers Survey, Ross Products Division
    of Abbott Laboratories, 2002
  • U.S. Department of Labor

Current Climate
  • Less than 20 of companies currently offer
    employee lactation programs
  • Research shows that going back to work is one of
    the biggest barriers to continuing to breastfeed
  • To the chagrin of employers, highly skilled,
    educated employees are the least likely to return
    from maternity leave - Robert Dragon, Penn State

The Case for Breastfeeding
  • Benefits for Babies
  • Enhanced immune system
  • Resistance to infection
  • Nutritional growth benefits
  • Developmental benefits
  • Benefits for Mothers
  • Quicker recovery to pre-pregnancy state
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduced risk of reproductive cancers
  • Cost savings for family
  • And of course bonding!

The business case for employers
  • Retention tool
  • Higher morale/ company loyalty
  • Family friendly image
  • 90 of employers on Working Mother Magazines
    list of 100 Best Companies to Work For offer
    workplace lactation programs
  • 94 of women participating in workplace lactation
    programs are more likely to remain with the
    company, even through two or more births
  • (source Study by Limerick, Inc.)

The business case for employers
  • Improved productivity
  • Workers more productive when supported by their
  • Less family sick days
  • Cost savings
  • Lower health care costs-savings of 400 per baby
    per year
  • Save 3 for every 1 investing in breastfeeding
  • Less waste-Go Green!
  • Source U.S. Breastfeeding Committee

The resistance
  • Lack of private space/inadequate facilities
  • Uncomfortable with topic
  • Stereotypes about breastfeeding
  • Scheduling issues
  • Stealing time

The Court Report
  • No lawsuits settled or published in New York
    State (yet)
  • In California, Silicon Valley firm fined 4,000
    for failing to provide a proper space for
    employee to express breast milk
  • Computer server room with security cameras was
    not adequate!

The Court Report
  • Harper versus California State Assembly, 2003
  • Employee walked several blocks in order to
    breastfeed baby and express milk
  • Reprimanded for stealing time and demoted
  • Case settled for 540,000 and employee given
    lifetime health benefits

Breastfeeding and the Law in NY
  • New York was the first state to exempt
    breastfeeding in public from its criminal
  • Effective August 15, 2007, employers in New York
    State must provide reasonable unpaid break time
    each day to allow employees to express breast
    milk for nursing children for up to three years
    following childbirth

Requirements for NY Employers
  • Provide notice regarding nursing mothers rights
  • Posted notice
  • Handbook Policy
  • Distribute notice to all pregnant women
  • Prohibit discrimination against nursing mothers
  • Make reasonable efforts to provide a room or
    other private location that is kept clean

Requirements for NY Employees
  • Provide notice of their intent to nurse or
    breastfeed in the workplace before returning to
    work (if possible)
  • This notice is so the employer can
  • Establish location
  • Coordinate schedule with other nursing mothers
  • Bring home breast milk each day

What is reasonable break time?
  • A break at least once every three hours for the
    purpose of expressing breast milk for no less
    than 20 minutes
  • If the room or location is not close, then a
    break no less than 30 minutes must be provided
  • Number of breaks needed may vary depending on
  • Amount of time mother is separated from nursing
  • Mothers physical needs
  • A scheduled break may be postponed for no more
    than 30 minutes to wait for coverage to arrive

Paid time
  • Unpaid time can run concurrently with regularly
    scheduled break times and meal periods
  • Employer must allow employee to work before or
    after her shift to make up time used during
    unpaid breaks for expressing milk if time
    requested is within the employers normal working
  • Employers should be cautious of docking time,
    particularly for exempt employees

Adequate Location
  • Employers must provide room or other private
    location as long as doing so is neither
  • Significantly impracticable
  • Inconvenient
  • Expensive
  • A restroom or toilet stall is not acceptable

Adequate Location
  • Option One
  • A room designated as the nursing room with an
    established schedule to accommodate multiple
    nursing mothers
  • Option Two
  • Vacant office or other room on a temporary basis
    as long as it cannot be accessed by public or
    other employees while employee is nursing
  • Option Three
  • Cubicle that is fully enclosed with a partition
    and 7 foot walls

What else can employers do?
  • Support
  • Time
  • Space
  • Gatekeeper

  • Provide a buddy
  • Provide a new mom welcome kit
  • Cooler bag with cold packs
  • List of lactation consultants
  • Gift card to retailer that sells breast pumps
  • List of child care facilities
  • Other baby-related items
  • Rent hospital grade pump
  • Provide access to a lactation consultant

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Balance-needs of company versus employee
  • Most women can adjust pumping times by up to 30
    minutes if needed
  • Offer at least three ½ hour breaks for every
    eight hours of work

  • Private room with comfortable chairs and a table
  • Blinds or shades for any windows
  • Private refrigerator for storage of milk
  • Plenty of electrical outlets
  • Clock
  • Sink, soap, antibacterial gel, paper towels
  • Mirror
  • Schedule posted on the door
  • Computer and phone

  • Company advocate
  • Usually Human Resources

Call Center Company (2000)
  • Employee requested permission to pump during a
    few times during the day, would make up time
    before and after shift
  • Supervisor said no initially
  • Supervisor then said okay, but only during
    certain times of the day and in the cafeteria so
    he can monitor her time
  • Outcome HR was contacted, situation was
    immediately corrected. Employee used empty
    conference room or the bathroom with outlets.

Investment Firm (2001)
  • 25 employees
  • All private offices, doors did not lock
  • Sign on door when breastfeeding
  • Unlimited break time
  • Paid maternity leave for 8 weeks
  • Outcome All three nursing mothers returned
    after having their children
  • One at 9 weeks
  • One at 12 weeks
  • One at 16 weeks

Health Care System (2002)
  • Over 10,000 employees
  • Employee too embarrassed to ask male supervisor
  • Locked office but no blinds on the window,
    usually pumped in the car
  • Hid breast milk in the refrigerator
  • Employee worked in HR in the benefits area
  • No policies or support offered
  • Outcome Company now has a dedicated room and
    lactation consultants available

Engineering Co.(2008)
  • 150 employees
  • Lack of private space
  • Empty conference rooms
  • Borrow an office
  • Taped paper to windows
  • Complaints of extended break times (45 minute-1
    hour breaks)
  • Outcome
  • Employee felt pressure to stop pumping and
    breastfeeding. Went part-time, then left the
    company. Did not want to file a formal complaint.

Medical Office (2009)
  • 125 employees
  • Family friendly environment
  • Employee taking 1 hour break every 3 hours
  • Working 7am-5pm
  • Pumping 8-9, 11-12, 2-3, plus taking ½ hour lunch
    at 1230pm
  • Staff coverage issues
  • Employer felt breaks were excessive
  • Outcome
  • Office addressed issues with employee. She is
    working on modifying her pumping schedule. Stated
    she was overwhelmed as a new mother juggling work
    and home.

Credit Union (2008)
  • 2,000 employees
  • Considers itself to have family friendly
  • Separate moms room for pregnant and nursing
  • Room equipped with private cubicles with outlets
  • Comfortable couches
  • Private refrigerator
  • Wireless network
  • Two computers with phones nearby
  • Result No formal statistics but surveys from
    moms regard this benefit as a primary factor in
    returning to work!

Final Thoughts
  • Employer Education
  • Resources for Employees
  • New Court Cases in New York
  • New Political Environment


HR Works, Inc.
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