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Oregon Nursing in the Workplace Rules

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 28, 2012.

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Oregon employers must comply with these state rules regarding nursing in the workplace.

Oregon law allows a woman to breastfeed her child in a public place.

Employers with 25 or more employees are required to provide unpaid rest periods for breastfeeding women to express milk throughout the day for a child eighteen months of age or younger. Employers are also required to take reasonable measures to provide a private location where women can express milk. An employee must provide reasonable notice to the employer that the employee intends to express milk upon returning to work.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the employer and the employee, the employer will provide the employee a 30-minute rest period to express milk during each four-hour work period, or the major part of a four-hour work period, to be taken by the employee approximately in the middle of the work period. If feasible, the employee will take the rest periods to express milk at the same time as the rest periods or meal periods that are otherwise provided to the employee.

If the employer is required by law or contract to provide the employee with paid rest periods, the employer will treat the rest periods used by the employee for expressing milk as paid rest periods, up to the amount of time the employer is required to provide as paid rest periods. If an employee takes unpaid rest periods, the employer may allow the employee to work before or after her normal shift to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods. If the employee does not work to make up the amount of time used during the unpaid rest periods, the employer is not required to compensate the employee for that time.

An employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a location, other than a public restroom or toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area for the employee to express milk in private. The location may include, but is not limited to:

  1. the employee's work area if the work area meets the requirements of this provision;
  2. a room connected to a public restroom, such as a lounge, if the room allows the employee to express milk in private; or
  3. a child care facility in close proximity to the employee's work location where the employee can express milk in private.

An employer may allow an employee to temporarily change job duties if the employee's regular job duties do not allow her to express milk.

An employer is not required to provide rest periods under this section if to do so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.

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