Among the many changes recently proposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), one that has not yet occurred is a repeal of the requirement that certain employers provide break time for nursing mothers.
ACA Amendment To The FLSA
Effective March 23, 2010, the ACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to create a requirement that all employers covered by the FLSA provide reasonable break time, as necessary, and a private place, other than a bathroom, for non-exempt employees to express breast milk for their infant child for up to a year after the child’s birth, with limited exception. Covered employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempted from the requirement if providing such break time would cause an undue hardship.
This break time requirement is currently codified at 29 U.S.C. § 207 and no supporting regulations were enacted. The U.S. Department of Labor issued a Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions that provide basic information on the requirement and encouragement for employers to provide the same break time to exempt employees as well.
AHCA Bill Passed On May 4, 2017
The American Health Care Act of 2017 (“AHCA”) bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday May 4, 2017 did not include repeal of the ACA’s break time amendment to the FLSA. Of course, this bill is not yet law and has yet to be reviewed by and voted on by the U.S. Senate, which will likely change the text of the bill prior to any vote.
So, in short, a repeal of the break time requirement is still possible in the future, but is not on the horizon today.