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Your Rights and NM Law

Nursing Your BEST

Nursing is good for parents, baby, and society.

Both New Mexico and federal law recognize that nursing is good for parents, baby, and society. Parents can legally nurse in public in every state, including NM, and workplace rights allow reasonable break time and a private space for nursing parents to express human milk.

New Mexico Law, Regulations, and Guidelines

Parents Can Nurse in Public

New Mexico states that a parent can nurse a baby anywhere they are allowed to be, public or private. NMSA 1978, Sec 28-20-1

Public Employers Must Give Break Time and Private Space.

THE LAW STATES:

An employer shall provide nursing employees with:

  1. Space for using the breast pump that is
    1. Clean and private
    2. Near the employee’s workspace
    3. Not a bathroom
  2. Flexible break times

– NM Chapter No. 2007-18

Resources

Download a business card with NM nursing law.

NMBTF LAW Business Card English
NMBTF LAW Business Card Spanish

Businesses that receive the NM Family Friendly Business award support nursing!

Visit NM Family Friendly Business

Need help on how to talk to your boss about pumping breaks, private space, or other breastfeeding accommodations?

The New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force Outreach Specialists are available to provide support to self-advocate, sample letters, and much more. Find out more at www.breastfeedingnm.org or by calling (505) 395-MILK

Download the NMBTF Work Place Fact Sheet here.

NMBTF-logo

Federal Law, Regulations, and Guidelines

 

Employers Must Give Break Time and Private Space to Most Non-exempt Employees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide most “non-exempt” employees with a “reasonable break time” and a private space, other than a bathroom, for the expression of human milk, through the child’s first birthday.

If you are an employee who is “non-exempt,” or covered by section 7 of the FLSA (generally, employees entitled to overtime pay), you should be allowed breaks to express human milk. Employees who are most commonly classified as exempt employees are white-collar, or executive, administrative, or professional employees. Employers are not required under the FLSA to provide breaks to nursing mothers who are exempt from the requirements of section 7. Even if you are classified as an exempt employee, your employer might be happy to allow time and space for you once you let them know what you need and why it is important. It is a good idea to develop a plan and talk to your employer about your return ahead of time.

Federal law also requires most health plans to cover nursing support, supplies, and counseling at no cost to the mother.

To find out if your job position should be classified as exempt or non-exempt, for more information about Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or to file a complaint, call 1-866-487-9243 or visit the US Department of Labor’s site on break time for nursing mothers.

Employers Cannot Discriminate Based on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Medical Conditions, Including Nursing and Lactation.

Learn more about how these federal civil rights are related to working and nursing by visiting the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s enforcement guidance website.

Educational Programs Cannot Discriminate.

If you’re a student, learn more about these protections in educational programs and activities or about guidance for supporting the academic success of pregnant and parenting students, including support of nursing.

Find more information about Laws Protecting Working Nursing Parents at the WomensHealth.gov website.

Educational Programs Cannot Discriminate

If you’re a student, learn more about these protections in educational programs and activities or about guidance for supporting the academic success of pregnant and parenting students, including support of nursing.

Find more information about Laws Protecting Working Nursing Parents at the WomensHealth.gov website.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Regulations

You Can Fly With Pumped Human Milk.

Human milk for infants or toddlers is allowed through security at the airport. Most liquids, gels, and aerosols must be no bigger than 3.4 ounces, placed in a quart-sized bag, and removed from your carry-on bag for screening. There is an exception for human milk whether or not you are travelling with your child. There is also an exception for some other liquids if you are travelling with your baby. Be sure to tell the TSA Officer that you have “medically necessary liquids” at the beginning of the screening, and that you are travelling with human milk in your carry-on bag.

You may keep your human milk in its usual storage container and you do not need to remove it from your carry-on bag at security. Many airports have special lanes for people traveling with items that need extra help through the screening process. Clearly labeling the containers to show that it is human milk may help with the security process. TSA officers will typically screen your human milk by X-ray. They may also need to screen it in other ways to make sure it is safe, and you may be asked to open the container. Inform the TSA officer if you do not want the human milk to be X-rayed or opened. In this case, you will need to go through additional screening procedures to pass through security, so allow extra time.

You may keep ice packs, frozen gel packs, or other accessories to cool your human milk in your carry-on bag. If these are partially melted or slushy, they will also need to go through additional screening.

If you are travelling with a breast pump, you can travel with the pump as a carry-on or you can check it. It will be screened in the same way that other carry-on items or checked baggage are screened.

During the screening process, if you find yourself being told to do something that you believe is incorrect, ask for a supervisor or manager.

Visit the TSA website for more information about traveling with human milk. The website has online customer service available. You can also call TSA’s Customer Service at 1-866-289-9673 or TSA Cares at 1-855-787-2227.