Saint Louis University

Lactation Accommodations Policy




Procedure Number: Version Number: 1
Classification: Effective Date: 05/05/2012
Responsible University Official: Vice President Human Resources


Saint Louis University supports female faculty and staff by providing paid and unpaid breaks for women who have chosen to breastfeed after they return to work. It is the University's goal to extend that support by establishing guidelines to allow breastfeeding mothers to express milk while at work.


Saint Louis University is committed to complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") requirements to provide reasonable breaks and private locations for employees to express breast milk for up to one year after giving birth.


This policy applies to all full-time, part-time and temporary staff, faculty, and residents (house-staff) including those in an "on-call" status, of Saint Louis University with the exception of employees of the Madrid Campus.


Designated Lactation Area: An area on Saint Louis University premises that is dedicated to accommodating the needs of employees who are breastfeeding their children. Some of these areas may require checking availability and reserving time slots as needed. See Section 5.3 of this policy for specifications of minimum requirements for lactation areas.

Lactation Breaks: Breaks during the work day for employees who have requested lactation accommodations. See Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of this policy for more details.


5.1 Requests for time off to express milk

 Prior to returning from leave after the birth of a child, if an employee plans to breastfeed,

she should engage in a dialogue with her supervisor to make a request for accommodations to express breast milk.

The employee may request reasonable unpaid break time and/or use her paid breaks or meal times for this purpose. Time used to express milk should be coordinated with the department as a request for a flexible work schedule to allow the employee to make up the time at the beginning or end of the day if the request exceeds paid breaks and meal times.

5.2 Amount of time needed

 Departments should anticipate requests for breaks of 15 to 30 minutes, two to three times a day. However, depending upon where the lactation room is located, some additional time may be needed to return to the work space, depending on the locations of lactation areas nearest the employee's work space. SLU will accommodate these requests from nursing mothers for up to one year following the birth of a child. Supervisors should be prepared to be flexible during the time that the employee chooses to breastfeed her child.

5.3 Space and facilities

SLU has designated lactation areas available with a clean, private, comfortable space, an electrical outlet, a chair, a table for the breast pump, and access to a sink with running water. These areas will be identified by signage that shows the universal symbol for breastfeeding on them.

In addition to designated lactation rooms, employees may work with their supervisors to identify a space in their department or in the building that can meet their needs for a clean, private, comfortable space with an electrical outlet, chair and a table for the breast pump. Access to a sink with running water and paper towels is essential for the employee to wash her hands and clean the equipment.

Privacy can be ensured by installing a lock, screen or curtain. Signage is available to identify lactation areas on the HR website and can also be used by employees for their own office to minimize interruptions while they are pumping.

A listing of all designated lactation areas on SLU's campus can be found on the HR website and will be updated as more are identified on both sides of campus. Click here to view a listing of designated lactation areas.

5.4 Storage of breast milk

Employees must provide their own clearly identified, leak proof containers for storage of expressed milk while on campus. Employees should check with their supervisors to determine if there is a refrigerator/freezer available near their work area where storage of breast milk is permitted. If there is no refrigerator/freezer readily available, employees should provide their own means to store and keep the milk cold such as a cooler bag.

If the department has a refrigerator on the premises, please determine if it is appropriate for storage.

NOTE: Federal and state regulations prohibit the storage of breast milk in refrigerators/freezers that are used for lab specimens, patient foods or medications.


6.1 Responsibility of Employees

 Employees should contact their supervisor to notify them of the request for breast feeding accommodations. The breast feeding mother needs to provide notice of the frequency and duration of time needed for breaks. If the need for break frequency changes, this should be coordinated with their supervisor.

6.2 Responsibility of Supervisors

Supervisors should respect and be sensitive to an employee's choice to breastfeed as well as other efforts to do what she considers best for her baby.

Supervisors should work within the University policies regarding breaks and hours of work to accommodate employees who wish to express milk during the workday. Supervisors should grant requests for unpaid break time and/or the use of paid breaks or meal times for this purpose for up to one year following the birth of a child. Time used to express milk may be made up at the beginning or end of the day, or other flexibility may be approved as meets the needs of the department and the employee making the request.



The policy was reviewed by the President's Coordinating Council and Staff Advisory Committee (SAC).

This policy has been approved by:
Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
Saint Louis University

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