Every mother has the basic human right to breastfeed her baby. It is not illegal to breastfeed your baby in public in New Jersey or in any state in the United States. New Jersey law specifically protects the right to breastfeed in public, permitting every mother to breastfeed in any place within a place of public accommodation where she is otherwise entitled to be. The law is as follows:
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a mother shall be entitled to breast feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement wherein the mother is otherwise permitted.
EFFECTIVE MAY 19, 1997
The Legislature finds and declares that: the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that babies from birth to one year of age should be breast fed, unless medically contraindicated, in order to achieve a healthy start on life; breast milk strengthens the immune system of babies, improves digestion and is of better nutritional value than regular milk; other benefits include the establishment of a strong mother-baby bond and a potential increase in baby’s IQ level; despite the Surgeon General’s recommendation, statistics reveal a declining number of women are choosing to breast feed their children, and nearly half of all new mothers are now choosing formula over breast milk even before they leave the hospital; the social constraints of modern society impede a woman’s choice to breast feed due to embarrassment, fear of criminal prosecution and lack of public acceptance; therefore, it is in the best interest of the State to recognize breast feeding in places of public accommodation as an important right which must be encouraged in order to promote child health.
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:
An employer shall provide:
(A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and
(B) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.
An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.
Learn more about Federal and State legislation HERE.
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