HeaderPolicies Home Home Search Help Careers News Events Contact Us

Policy 4.91
Lactation Support

Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Employee Relations
Effective Date: May 01, 2013
Last Revision: August 29, 2017

Policy Sections:


In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all female faculty, staff and students who breastfeed their child (“nursing mothers”) are permitted reasonable break time to express milk throughout the day for the length of time they elect to breastfeed. The university will provide lactation rooms and/or private areas across its campus, located in a space other than a bathroom, for this purpose. Such lactation rooms/private spaces must be shielded from view and free from intrusion of co-workers and the public. These private spaces may or may not be specifically for nursing mothers, however, they will be made available when needed and will meet specific criteria set forth by federal regulations and by the university as outlined in this policy.





Policy Details

This policy applies to non-exempt and exempt employees.



An employee who anticipates the need for a place to breastfeed, should inform her supervisor and/or local Human Resource Representative (HR Rep) as far in advance as possible so that a lactation room or other private space can be identified and a plan put in place to accommodate the request in a timely manner. HR Reps will work with their building managers to identify rooms available and arrange access if necessary.



Time and Compensation of Breaks



Supervisors and department administrators are expected to make every effort to provide the nursing mother a reasonable amount of break time to express milk as frequently as needed. Should issues arise, support from local human resources should be made available. The frequency of breaks as well as the duration of each break will vary according to the individual mother’s physical needs. Supervisors should keep in mind that expressing milk may be a physical necessity for some mothers. Such accommodation should include permitting mothers who need to express breast milk to visit lactation rooms or use a private room during normal break times or meal times, and providing reasonable unpaid break times (and/or use of sick time) to allow an employee to breastfeed. Employers are not required under the FLSA to compensate nursing mothers for breaks taken for the purpose of expressing milk.  However, where supervisors already provide compensated breaks, an employee who uses that time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break times.  Time spent beyond, or in addition to, regular paid breaks for the purpose of expressing milk is not compensated time. Supervisors are expected to work with nursing mothers to manage their schedule should additional time be needed beyond the normal paid break times for expressing breastmilk.


 Lactation Rooms and Locations


Lactation rooms are provided throughout the Emory campus, including Oxford College and The Carter Center. Some rooms may be used for other purposes including physical/medical needs, such as insulin shots for diabetes. Lactation rooms are to be made available when needed by a nursing mother (unless in use by another employee and the room cannot accommodate the needs of more than one person at a time). While lactation rooms are located across the campus, the nearest room may not be in the same building where the employee works and reasonable break time must include time for travel to the nearest lactation room.


The success of lactation rooms across the Emory campus depends on collaboration and shared responsibility. This refers to the use of space on campus, operations, maintenance, funding, and compliance.   Lactation rooms will be shared and collaboratively managed and maintained across the Emory campus.


Lactation rooms will vary from one to another due to building constraints, however a list of requirements should still be met to be in compliance with federal and university policy. These requirements can be found below. Lactation room users must clean up the room and ensure that all pumps provided by Emory are cleaned thoroughly and properly after each use. This will prevent contamination and the transmission of germs and illness. Nursing mothers may need to provide their own supplemental equipment in order to connect to the pumps provided by Emory.


Required Lactation Room Requirements

Optional Lactation room Requirements

Offer privacy


Be lockable when in use

Breastfeeding pumps

Include signage for when in use

Additional reading or resources for new mothers

Include electrical outlets and garbage can that is emptied daily

Complimentary or at cost breastfeeding supplies

Include a chair and a flat surface (other than the floor) to place breast pump and other supplies (I.e. table)

Room décor such as clock, pictures, mirror, etc.

Enable user to wash hands and pump parts – preferably has a sink, but if not, has one within reasonable distance. If sink is not in the room, the room should include cleaning wipes and paper towel

Lockable storage space to store mother’s supplies

Offers a clean and relaxing space with a comfortable temperature, good lighting, and proper ventilation


Includes visibly posted contact information for Room Manager


Rooms sufficient for more than one user, should include privacy dividers. Examples of floor to ceiling dividers for this purpose can be found:  https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/employer-solutions/common-solutions/multiple-users.html


Includes promotional material about Lactation Support at Emory University, including a copy of Emory University’s Lactation Support Policy


Includes promotional material supplied by the Emory WorkLife Resource Center to support working mothers at Emory.





Room locations, questions, or complaints about a particular lactation room should be referred to the manager of that room which can be found HERE and be visibly posted in the room itself.




A map is available to assist in locating lactation rooms on campus.




Since 2005, Emory University, under the Division of Campus Services has required that all new building programs and any design plans for new capital buildings or major renovations must include consideration of a lactation room in each project. Although new construction projects and major renovations may not ultimately include a lactation room, advance consideration of the appropriateness for such rooms is required in the planning process.




Contact Information







Cleanliness and room questions

Room Manager


Room Contact List

Guidance on best practice, setting up a lactation room on campus and questions pertaining compliance

Center for Women

(404) 727-2031



Policy compliance pertaining compensation and time allowed for breaks

Employee Relations


Jeanne Thigpen


Support for working families at Emory University and policy compliance

Human Resources: Emory WorkLife Resource Center

(404) 727-8000


New construction considerations

Planning, Design & Construction Division of Campus Services

(404) 727-7463



Related Links

Revision History