Tell Congress to Support ALL Breastfeeding & Working Moms!
Employment is now the norm for women of childbearing age, yet breastfeeding mothers continue to face barriers in the workplace, putting them at particular risk for not meeting their breastfeeding goals. While more than three out of four U.S. mothers initiate breastfeeding, less than half of these moms are still breastfeeding at six months postpartum. One of the main causes for the drop-off in breastfeeding rates is the lack of break time and a private place to pump in the workplace. There are a variety of options for cost-effective solutions that employers can implement in almost every work setting: these simple accommodations are critical for employees' breastfeeding success.
We know that workplace lactation support is a "win-win", benefiting both employers and employees. Employers that provide lactation support experience an impressive return on investment, including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover rates, and improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. The retention rate for employees of companies with lactation support programs is 94%; the national average is 59%.
The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding; the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention; and the National Prevention Strategy each call on employers to establish and maintain lactation support programs for their employees.
Yet in spite of this tremendous recognition and recent expansion of support for breastfeeding moms in the workplace, only some moms are guaranteed this right. Currently, federal law requires employers to provide nursing mothers who are hourly wage-earners ("nonexempt" employees) reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom location to express breast milk for one year after the child's birth. Yet this provision does not cover "exempt" or salaried employees. While this provides protection and support for the most vulnerable workers, this distinction in the law was unintentional and is causing confusion for employers and employees alike. The Supporting Working Moms Act would ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the existing federal provision to cover approximately 12 million executive, administrative, and professional employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers.
That's why we need YOUR help building support and gaining co-sponsors for the Supporting Working Moms Act (SWMA). Help us tell Congress that breastfeeding and working is not only possible, it's good for business. A mother's breastfeeding success shouldn't dependent on her job type!
Ask your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the Supporting Working Moms Act! Use our sample letter below, or type your own into the box. The form will automatically send your e-mail message to your Representative and two Senators.
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