Policy 809 - Lactation Accommodation for Nursing Mothers

Section: Work Environment
Policy Number: 809
Responsible Office: HR Services
Effective Date: 8/15/07
Revised: 11/8/10; 3/18/19; 6/7/23


This policy applies to all staff, administrators and faculty who are employed on any New York campus of the University.


Upon request, the University will provide a space to an employee and designate it as a “Lactation Room” where the employee can pump during work hours. The Lactation Room will be a sanitary place, other than a restroom, shielded from view and free from intrusion (i.e., can be locked from the inside and includes proper signage). The designated room will be in reasonable proximity to the employee’s work area and have at minimum an electrical outlet, a chair, a surface on which to place a breast pump and other personal items, and nearby access to running water.  The University will also provide access to a refrigerator suitable for breast milk storage that is in reasonable proximity to the employee’s work area.

When not being utilized as a Lactation Room, the University may utilize the space for other purposes. If the designated Lactation Room is a multi-purpose space, the room will be prioritized as a Lactation Room and may only be used for expressing breast milk during the time(s) when employees need the space. If the multi-purpose room is unavailable for use as a Lactation Room when an employee needs it, the University will provide an alternative space for temporary use as a Lactation Room.

The University will provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or mealtime each day to allow the employee to express breast milk, as required by law. (Refer to policy #803 Meals and Breaks, applicable to non-exempt employees.)

Lactation Accommodation Request Procedure

Before an employee returns from parental leave, Employee Benefits will send the employee a copy of this policy and instructions for the employee to contact Employee Benefits orally or in writing to request a lactation accommodation.  The Employee Benefits department can be reached  at 718-990-2363 or [email protected]

A Benefits representative will respond to an employee’s request as quickly as possible and no later than five business days to secure the appropriate space. During the time it takes to respond to a request and/or engage in a cooperative dialogue to determine the accommodation, the University will provide a temporary accommodation to the employee so that the employee can pump in a manner than meets the employee’s immediate needs, unless doing so poses an undue hardship for the University.

When two or more employees need to use the same Lactation Room at the same time, Employee Benefits will work with both employees to reach a satisfactory accommodation. If the request for a Lactation Room poses an undue hardship on the University, Employee Benefits will engage in a cooperative dialogue with the employee.

The University recognizes that employees’ lactation accommodation needs may change over time. Employees may request changes to their existing lactation accommodation at any point.

Prohibited Discrimination and Retaliation

The University will not discriminate or retaliate in any way against an employee who chooses to pump breast milk in the workplace or otherwise exercise their rights under the law.

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual