• Thu, Jan 25 2007

Breastfeeding Laws Proposed for West Virginia and Indiana

Like Arkansas, West Virginia has not enacted any state law pertaining to breastfeeding. Previous attempts to enact breastfeeding legislation died at the end of the 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions before they reached a final vote.

In the 2007 Regular Session, three different forms of proposed breastfeeding legislation have been introduced. If House Bill 2248 is enacted, the law would read:

Breast feeding is an important, basic act of nurturing that is protected in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast feed a child in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.

Senate Bill 7 would require the establishment of a program to encourage and recognize breastfeeding-friendly employers and would allow breastfeeding mothers to be excused from jury duty. House Bill 2244 is the whole package. It provides the breastfeeding protection described above, it clarifies that a mother breastfeeding a child is not engaging in lewd conduct or violating nudity laws and is entitled to an expectation of privacy, it allows breastfeeding mothers to be excused from jury duty and it establishes the breastfeeding-friendly employer program. For more information on how to support West Virginia’s Child’s Right to Nurse Act, click here.

Indiana

The Lactivist reports that Indiana State Senator Vi Simpson has introduced Senate Bill 225 which would require employers to provide reasonable paid breaks for employees to express breast milk, to provide a private location in which to pump, and to provide a refrigerator for cold storage of expressed breast milk. That law is much stronger than the largely symbolic law recently passed in Oklahoma.

To contact your Indiana state legislator to urge passage of the bill, see this listing.

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  • Sally

    I think its a fantastic law but I doubt many employers will recognize the bill. Like mine for instants.

  • http://www.breastfeeding123.com Angela White, J.D., breastfeeding counselor

    Hi Sally,

    The Indiana law just passed and was signed by the governor, effective July 1, 2008.

    http://www.breastfeeding123.com/indiana-breastfeeding-bill-signed-into-law/

    It applies to employers with 25 or more employees. I didn’t see an enforcement provision (what the consequences are if your employer does not comply). Your local La Leche League might be able to help you talk through ways to approach your employer about the law, and what to do if your employer does not comply. You are right though, it’s a sensitive issue and not easy for a single employee to handle.

    For the West Virginians out there, a new bill has been introduced in 2008:

    http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2008_SESSIONS/RS/Bills/hb2248%20intr.htm

  • Sally

    Dear Angela,
    No it is not easy for a single employee to handle so maybe one day it will be done for many others but it will not happen for me my employer will just laugh at me and so will my co-workers. :(