Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dems want county to designate rooms for breastfeeding

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

County Legislature Democrats have submitted legislation that they say would encourage new mothers to continue breastfeeding after they return to their county jobs. 

Sponsored by Democratic Minority Leader Carrie Andrews, the legislation would designate specific rooms in most county-owned buildings for employees and the public to breastfeed or pump. The rooms would have locks, an electrical outlet, and chairs.

The measure would benefit county employees, Andrews said during a press conference this morning, as well as members of the public who have to wait in county facilities such as the Department of Human Services. 

Under existing law, the county must provide space for employees who want to breastfeed or pump, but only on an as-needed basis. And the county does appear to follow the law, Andrews said. But a dedicated room would be more encouraging, she said.

"We certainly have an opportunity to do more here," she said.

City Hall has a designated breastfeeding room, and many private companies — Kodak and Paychex included — also have them, she said.

Andrews has introduced similar legislation in the past, and it was promptly dismissed by the Legislature president. This time, her proposal was has been sent to the Legislature's Agenda/Charter Committee, which meets at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25.

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