Past Legislative Efforts...
Kate has submitted input for 3 bills to the NH Legislature. SB 219, formerly HB 1571 - relative to breastfeeding. See below. The newest bill for 2016 is SB 488 - relative to pregnancy and lactation.
2015 - NH Senate Bill 219 -
relative to breastfeeding & lactation
Sponsors (P) Senator Martha Fuller Clark (d), Senator Jeb Bradley, Senate Majority Leader, (r), Senator Bette Lasky, (d), Senator Molly Kelly, (d)
Devon Frederick, Co-Founder of the Rustik Baby Project at the NH State House
FACT SHEETS ON SB 219
General Fact Sheet
SB 219 in comparison to Federal Law, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the EEOC Enforcement Guidance - Pregnancy Discrimination and Breastfeeding, and SCOTUS Young v UPS
Testimony in House Commerce
COMMENTS BY NH FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE
Steven J McAuliffe, United States District Judge writes the following in his 30 page Order. https://dockets.justia.com/…/new-…/nhdce/1:2014cv00403/41258
"...Her proposal was not unreasonable. And, it would seem that DHHS could have avoided this entire controversy with just a minimal exercise of reasonable administrative judgment, even if the applicable law did not "require" it to act in a cooperative manner...
The complaint describes an unfortunate (even deplorable) insensitivity and intransigence on the part of her employer...
What Frederick actually complains about, understandably, is DHHS' s inexplicable refusal to accommodate her desire to breastfeed her child, either in the lactation room at work or a short distance away from her workplace, during an extended lactation break period...
But, breastfeeding per se is not (yet) covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act...
The solution to Frederick's and other breastfeeding mothers' workplace predicament lies, in the first instance, with management and, if necessary, with the New Hampshire General Court, or the Congress.
...New Hampshire law, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann.132: 10—d: "Breast—feeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast—feed her child is discriminatory.
It is also of note that the New Hampshire Senate recently passed a bill that would expand breastfeeding rights in New Hampshire, including a right to breastfeed in the workplace . see N.H. senate Bill No. 219
...The complaint seems to suggest the outlines of a disparate treatment claim arising from her allegations that other employees were allowed to leave the work premises for various reasons...
The court is sympathetic to the predicament in which Frederick was put
that is, being required to choose between breastfeeding her baby when and where she thought necessary, and returning to
SB 219 - relative to breastfeeding and lactation was TABLED in the full House. Why? Some questioned the constitutionality of the bill in an effort to kill it. Of course, like the Federal Law and other state laws, it is constitutional. The bill is still alive and we need your support, with volunteer time and donations. We thank House Representative Ed Butler for speaking on the House floor, which kept them from killing the bill.
NH Senate Bill 219 - relative to breastfeeding and lactation
passed the House Committee
of Commerce and Consumer Affairs by a vote of 19-1!!
It previously passed the Senate and will be reviewed by them once more, then voted on in Jan. 2016 by the full House.
Read the amended bill here.
(It is not yet posted on the NH Gen. Court site.)
Spring - 2015
By the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. To be worked on over the summer of 2015 and up for a vote again in the fall.
ATTEND OUR UPCOMING EVENTS
- SIGN OUR PETITION
- We spoke at the NH Progressive Summit
- Come to one of our Summer Milky Way screenings
- Have a business contact us to get a Door Sign and Customized Lactation Policy
- Call these legislators and ask for their support of the bill
NH House Commerce Committee
Let us know how it goes!
- Representative John Hunt (R-Rindge) (603) 899-6000
- Representative Laura Jones (R-Rochester) (603) 948-2264
- Representative Barbara Biggie (R-Milford) (603) 930-5600
- Representative Donald Flanders (R-Laconia) (603) 524-5369
- Representative Ronald Belanger (R-Salem) (603) 893-0659
- Representative Pamela Tucker (R-Greenland) (603) 431-8982
- Representative George Hurt (R-Gilford) No phone listed. Email: [email protected]
- Representative David Bates (R-Windham) (603) 894-6987
- Representative Valerie Fraser (R-New Hampton) (603) 744-0107
- Representative Bart Fromuth (R-Bedford) (603) 203-1379
- Representative Harold French (R-Franklin) (603) 848-8588
- Representative Joseph Hannon (R-Lee) (603) 292-5852
- Representative Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford) (603) 682-1557
- Representative Kenneth Gidge (D-Nashua) (603) 888-2355
- Representative Richard Abel (D-Lebanon) (603) 448-5831
- Representative John Bordenet (D-Keene) (603) 352-0680
- Representative Christopher Herbert (D-Manchester) (603) 669-2838
- Representative Rebecca McBeath (D-Portsmouth) (603) 834-3281
- Representative David Luneau (I-Hopkinton) (603) 746-6484
INTRODUCTION - 2015 SB - 219
We are extremely happy to have a co-partner this year in submitting the bill to our Prime Sponsor, the NH Citizens Alliance.
Who's been helping us with the bill language & strategy?
To view the official State of NH Bill Docket page, visit this site below.
HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS BILL OR NEED RESOURCES TO SEE HOW IT MIGHT AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS? CLICK HERE to see our page on resources and facts.
1st Senate Commerce Committee Hearing was Tuesday, February 17th at 1:40 pm, Concord, NH.
To see news coverage of this click here
To hear audio of the hearing, click here
Last Year's Effort: & More Current Info
"Devon's Bill-Live Free and Breastfeed"- 2014
House Bill 1571 - relative to breastfeeding
TEAM MEETING: TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2014
AT 3:00 PM VIA CONFERENCE CALL. (712) 432-1212.
Meeting ID. 230-123-299
NH remains own of the lowest ranked states in the nation for breastfeeding protections.
See how NH compares to other states here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx
WHY NEW HAMPSHIRE NEEDS LEGISLATION
ON THE BOOKS
- The Federal Laws have loopholes in them and don't protect all working mothers, such as waitresses & managers - anyone who doesn't qualify as an hourly employee according to the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. This means, a customer in a restaurant is legally allowed to breastfeed in public, but her waitress is not ensured the right to have a lactation break. Read more about the Federal Breastfeeding Laws.
- The NH Human Rights Commission needs language on the books to investigate Lactation Discrimination Cases. While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken a firm stance that Lactation Discrimination is Illegal Sex Discrimination, the NH Human Rights Commission is awaiting guidance on the matter. It needs to be made clear that lactation is a medical condition related to pregnancy, just as it has in several other states.
- The NH Unemployment Office, known as NH Employment Security, has been confused about how to process wrongful termination claims. This means if you are fired for pregnancy and lactation discrimination, you might not get unemployment insurance benefits, because the NHES staff does not necessarily know the current breastfeeding state and federal laws. NHES has disregarded patient medical documentation from midwives for lactation.
- The NH Department of Labor cannot enforce Federal Laws, only state laws. NH does not have a state breastfeeding law with any enforcement measures. The Federal breastfeeding laws are in the jurisdiction of the US Department of Labor. The US DOL is seeking guidance for clarification of the Federal Laws. US DOL Assistant Director Daniel Cronin wrote us, "...there is nothing in writing presently available that defines “to express” within the meaning of the Nursing Mothers Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. "
- State Worker's Unions, Labor Boards, Business Associations and Chambers of Commerce could benefit from employer rights being specified with regards to employee-requested breastfeeding accommodation. Currently, business owners are in jeopardy of costly legal action that interrupts business, ruins reputations and hurst the NH economy.
DEVON'S BILL - LIVE FREE AND BREASTFEED - ORIGINAL DRAFT
Submitted to House Rep. Ed Butler
RESULT: This original version was edited a few times by the drafting committee.
To amend the current NH law, Title X, CHAPTER 132, 132:10-d Breast-feeding,
Definition of Express Milk
The definition of "express milk," as it relates to breastfeeding is to extract milk. This can be done by hand, pump or mouth, which includes breastfeeding - as it was intended in the Federal Law to promote and encourage breastfeeding, Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , amending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as of March 23, 2010.
It is up to the lactating individual to determine the best way for her to express milk. An employer cannot force an employee to use a breast pump as the only means of expressing milk. THIS WAS REMOVED BY THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
Lactation and activities related to lactation, including breastfeeding and other methods of expressing milk are a medical condition related to pregnancy and childbirth.
THIS WAS REMOVED BY THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
Break time for Mother and/or Guardian
In the case of Brandi Rose and her twins - Brandi is the Aunt to the twins whose mother died. Brandi acquires breastmilk for the infants from donors.
Therefore, an individual such as Brandi, would be entitled to break time for lactation, if she was able to meet up with the infants on her breaktime.
FMLA for breastfeeding
In the case of KateDAbra Frederick and the above example of Brandi Rose, both would be entitled to FMLA leave to provide breastmilk.
Requires that an employer make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her breast milk in privacy, safety and protected from weather. A sink, refrigerator or cooler and outlet will be made available either in the room or close by. The location may include a childcare facility in close proximity to the employee's work location. The lactation room may be used for pumping, breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding. THIS WAS EDITED DOWN
Illegal Discrimination by Employer and/or Labor Organization
requires an employer to provide adequate unpaid or paid break time to express breast milk for up to 3 years following childbirth. The employer may not discriminate against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace.
allow women to have unpaid 30-minute breaks during each four-hour shift to breastfeed or pump. Allows certain exemptions for employers. (HB 2372)
a mother's and child's need to breastfeed should be supported and encouraged to the greatest extent possible and that a mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be. THIS WAS REMOVED BY THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
Provide that it is a discriminatory practice to deny, or attempt to deny, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodation of a place of public accommodations to a woman because she is breastfeeding a child. An individual is allowed to feed his/her child by bottle or her breast in any place open to the public and would allow a private cause of action for denial of this right. The law specifies that in such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breastfeed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breastfeeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breastfeeding her child. (2009 AB 57) THIS WAS EDITED
...recognizes the unique health, economic, and societal benefits that breastfeeding provides to babies, mothers, families and the community and resolves the state of Illinois to work to ensure that barriers to initiation and continuation of breastfeeding are removed and that a women's right to breastfeed is upheld.
THIS WAS REMOVED BY THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
amends the Jury Act; provides that any mother nursing her child shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty.
Health and Human Services
The law provides for a worksite breastfeeding demonstration project and requires the Department of Health to develop recommendations supporting worksite breastfeeding. directs the commissioner of health to convene a healthy worksites work group to identify priorities and develop recommendations to enhance collaborative learning and interactive sharing of best practices in worksite wellness and employee health management. The work group shall examine best practices in Vermont and other states, including strategies to spread the adoption of workplace policies and practices that support breastfeeding for mothers. ) guarantees a woman the right to breastfeed her child, either in public or in private, at the choice of the mother, on any property owned, leased or controlled by the state. THIS WAS EDITED DOWN
Human Rights Commission
Any claimant who loses their job through no fault of their own, due to pregnancy and/or breastfeeding discrimination, will be entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. The reason for separation may be determined as Fired for medical reasons, whistleblower actions, illegal discrimination, objection to working conditions and any other reason that may apply. A Certified Nurse Midwife and/or Lactation Consultant will be sufficient medical providers to make medical recommendations for their patients and to submit documentation regarding a claimants medical needs. THIS WAS REMOVED BY THE DRAFTING COMMITTEE
DEVON'S BILL VERSION 1
132:10-e Breast-feeding; Employer Responsibilities.
(a) “Express milk” means the act of extracting human milk which can be accomplished by hand, pump, or baby’s mouth, which is breastfeeding. REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
(b) “Employer” means an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, trustee, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, governmental entity, and any common carrier who employs any person. Employer shall include any person acting in the interest of an employer directly or indirectly. REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
III. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy, safely, and protected from weather. The lactation room shall have, either in the room or nearby, access to a sink, refrigerator or cooler, and an electrical outlet. The lactation room may be used for pumping, breastfeeding, and bottle feeding. REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
3 Exemption From Jury Duty.
500-A:5-a Nursing Mothers; Exemption From Jury Duty. Any nursing mother shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty.
4 Report Required.
REMOVED BY THE LABOR COMMITTEE
AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE LABOR COMMITTEE:
Breastfeeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child is discriminatory. An individual shall be allowed to feed her child by bottle or her breast in any place open to the public. No person shall prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breastfeed her child, direct a mother to cover her child while breastfeeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breastfeeding her child.
Senator Molly Kelly created an amendment to the bill and brought it to the full Senate for a vote. This was instead of recommending it be put into an interim study.
RESULT: The amendment was shot down and the bill was tabled.
Breastfeeding a child does not constitute an act of indecent exposure and to restrict or limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child is discriminatory.
After the Boston Globe article came out, I was contacted by NH Representative, Ed Butler about the idea of better protections in NH. I drafted a bill for better breastfeeding protections that go beyond the Federal Laws for the State of NH.
I want to thank US Senator Kelly Ayotte for all her support with breastfeeding in public and as a woman in the workforce. We sat down together, in public, while I breastfeed Devon to talk about the topic. She told me she was able to find a way to breastfeed at work, while she was the Attorney General for NH. She's a big fan of breastfeeding and shared that she had some obstacles to overcome too! As she said, "there's just so much medical research to back it up." Breastfeeding can help create a strong bond between, not just mother and child, but between Republican, Democrat and Independent.