Illinois: New Accommodations for Lactating Mothers


Employers with 5 or more IL Employees


August 21, 2018


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(888) 378-2456

Governor Rauner recently signed HB 1595 revising employer requirements for accommodating lactating mothers. Specifically, employers must now provide “reasonable break time” each time an employee needs to expresses milk for up to one year after the child’s birth, unless doing so would create an “undue hardship” on the employer. Employers have the burden to prove an undue hardship based on the nature and cost of the accommodation, overall financial resources of the facility and employer, and type of operation of the employer. Further, the employee’s break time “may” run concurrently with break time already provided, but is not required to.

Notably, the word “unpaid” was removed from “reasonable break time,” which implies that lactation periods must be paid. Moreover, the bill specifically states that employers may not reduce an employee’s compensation for time used for the purpose of expressing milk or nursing a baby. The ambiguity of the bill puts employers in a tough position. To minimize potential risk, employers are recommended to pay employees for lactation breaks, or consult with legal counsel to strategize on when lactation breaks should not be paid, if at all.

Action Items

  1. Review the bill here.
  2. Have lactation policies and procedures reviewed and updated consistent with the new requirements.
  3. Have timekeeping and payroll processes updated to be consistent with the changes to break time.
  4. Have managers and supervisors trained on the new requirements.
  5. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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