Councilman Proposes New Work Protections For Breastfeeding Mothers

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New mothers in Philadelphia who pump breast milk after returning to work could get new job protections under a measure introduced in City Council.

At-large Councilman David Oh proposes revising the Fair Practices section of the city code to give explicit protection to women who return to work after giving birth, and who need time and space to express milk for storage.

“There are cases across the country where women who are breastfeeding have been fired. While a person can take a 10-minute break, morning and afternoon, for any reason, people have been fired for basically pumping milk during that time.”

Rue Landau, the head of the city’s Human Relations Commission, says federal law and several sections of the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance already give implicit protection to women who must pump breast milk at work. But she does not object to explicitly adding it to the code.

Oh acknowledges that nursing moms are already protected under federal law, but he says putting it in the city code will give women a local venue to file a grievance with the Human Relations Commission if they face such problems.

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