Lisa Subeck
Press Release

Healthy Babies, Working Mothers Act Gains Strong Bi-Partisan Support

Proposed bill removes workplace barriers to breastfeeding

By - Jan 27th, 2016 09:53 am

MADISON – Representative Subeck (D-Madison), together with Representative Joan Ballweg (R- Markesan) and Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point), has introduced LRB-3285 to ensure nursing mothers do not face unnecessary barriers in the workplace. LRB-3285 would bring Wisconsin law in line with federal employment regulations regarding breastfeeding and provide additional accommodations to ensure that nursing mothers do not have to choose between breastfeeding and returning to work. The bill also ensures that unpaid break time taken for the purpose of nursing or expressing breast milk would count toward meeting eligibility thresholds for employer sponsored health insurance. After circulating for co-sponsorship, the bill has received support from both Democrats and Republicans.

“New mothers too often face an impossible choice between returning to work and breastfeeding their babies,” said Representative Lisa Subeck. “This bill would update state law, removing barriers for nursing mothers returning to the workforce.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for an infant’s first six months, with continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced. However, working mothers are less likely to initiate breastfeeding and are more likely to breastfeed for a shorter length of time than women who don’t have to deal with workplace barriers. In 2010, the federal government updated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), requiring employers to provide accommodations at the workplace which would enable nursing mothers to breastfeed or express milk at work. This bill codifies these changes at the state level and adds critical protections to ensure nursing mothers are not forced to choose between breastfeeding and health care.

This bill addresses an issue raised by a constituent who lost her health insurance because unpaid breaks to express breastmilk resulted in her total work hours dropping slightly below the minimum threshold for health insurance eligibility. The Healthy Babies, Working Mothers Act was drafted with significant input from breastfeeding coalitions and breastfeeding support organizations, including public health professionals.

“I am pleased that the Healthy Babies, Working Mothers Act has received early bipartisan support and am hopeful the bill will move forward,” said Subeck. “No mother should have to choose between making the healthy choice for her baby versus returning to work and providing health care for her family.”

A copy of LRB-3285 is attached.

Press Releases by Lisa Subeck

Lisa Subeck

Affordable Care Act Repeal would have Devastating Consequences in Wisconsin

"According to the Congressional Budget Office, 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance"

Lisa Subeck

Representative Subeck Introduces Legislation to Return Authority to Local Governments to Regulate Weapons on Buses

"This legislation enables those responsible for providing transit services to determine how best to ensure their employees’ and their riders’ safety."

Lisa Subeck

Assembly Republicans Further Drive Down Wages and Send Jobs Out of State

Bill prohibiting Project Labor Agreements puts corporate special interests ahead of local businesses and workers

Lisa Subeck

Assembly Republicans Refuse to Consider “Buy Wisconsin” Bill

Republicans put politics ahead of Wisconsin businesses and workers

Lisa Subeck

Representative Subeck Will Reintroduce Healthy Babies, Working Mothers Act to Support Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

LRB-1206 would bring Wisconsin law in line with federal employment regulations regarding breastfeeding.

Lisa Subeck

Representative Lisa Subeck’s Statement on Republican Proposal to Limit Public Employee Access to Women’s Health Care

"...Republicans are introducing politically motivated legislation that interferes with a women’s ability to access reproductive healthcare."

See More Releases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *