UNCLASSIFIED (U)

3 FAM 3860

lactation POLICY

(CT:PER-1058;   08-13-2021)
(Office of Origin:  GTM/ER/WLD)

3 FAM 3861  OVERVIEW

3 FAM 3861.1  Policy

(CT:PER-818;   06-01-2016)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically)

a. It is the policy of the U.S. Department of State to comply fully with section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Public Law 111-148, amended, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to require an employer to provide covered employees with:

(1)  A reasonable break time to express breast milk for the employee’s nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such an employee has need to express milk throughout the workday.  The frequency and duration of time necessary to express breast milk may vary.  Employees are encouraged to have open dialogue with supervisors for flexibility during the workday to nurse; and

(2)  A place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public that may be used to express breast milk.

b. On December 20, 2010, President Obama delegated authority to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide guidance to executive branch agencies and civilian employees on workplace accommodations for employees who are nursing mothers.

c.  While the new provision applies only to employees who are subject to FLSA overtime pay provisions, OPM has determined that the rationale for the policy contained in that section applies to all executive branch employees.  Accordingly, in accordance with the authority delegated to OPM by the President, and in order to ensure consistent treatment of nursing mothers within the Federal workforce, OPM has directed agencies to apply the requirements of the law to all executive branch civilian employees, irrespective of FLSA exemption status.

3 FAM 3861.2  Authorities and References

(CT:PER-818;   06-01-2016)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically)

Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and ACA, Public Law 111-148, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) (29 U.S.C. 207(r)).

3 FAM 3861.3  Applicability

(CT:PER-676;   05-04-2012)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically)

These procedures apply to all qualified employees and employment applicants, as defined by law.

3 FAM 3861.4  Organization

(CT:PER-995;   06-01-2020)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically)

a. Three offices have designated roles in supporting the Department’s lactation policy:

(1)  The Office of Employee Relations, Work Life Division (GTM/ER/WLD);

(2)  The Bureau of Administration, Office of Operations (A/OPR); and

(3)  The Office of Medical Services (MED).

    NOTE: These offices play liaison roles, with GTM/ER/WLD taking the lead to organize and post policy and information, call meetings, meet with interest groups, and resolve problems.

b. A/OPR is responsible for acquiring/designating lactation rooms.

c.  MED serves as a subject-matter consultant.

3 FAM 3861.5  General Provisions

(CT:PER-995;   06-01-2020)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically)

Spaces within Department buildings that are designated to be lactation rooms must be consistent with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidelines and have the following general characteristics:

(1)  Space: A clean, private space, consistent with Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and ACA and amended section 7(r) of the FLSA will be provided. 

o   The Office of Employee Relations (GTM/ER) is responsible for coordinating the Department’s efforts and will maintain a building-by-building listing of designated lactation rooms

o   A reasonable amount of space is required, generally considered to be 8 feet by 10 feet

(2)  Privacy:  Designated lactation rooms must provide privacy.  These rooms must be places other than bathrooms, as required by law.  Each room must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.  If possible, employees should be able to lock the door from the inside (while still allowing entry by emergency response personnel). To schedule use of a designated lactation room, visit GTM/Employee Relations/Lactation;

(3)  Proximity:  The designated lactation room should be clearly marked, centrally located, if possible, and reasonably convenient to nursing mothers throughout the building;

(4)  Access to water:  Where feasible, a lactation room should have a sink with running water, soap, and paper towels;

(5)  Seating:  A comfortable seat for the nursing mother will be provided;

(6)  Table:  A small table (a minimum of 18 inches by 18 inches) will be provided to accommodate a breast pump and accessories.  The table should be located sufficiently near an electrical outlet; and

(7)  Leave:  While there is no special paid leave category for nursing mothers, the Department supports the practice of providing nursing mothers with a reasonable amount of time to express milk -- generally 15 to 20 minutes, depending upon the distance of the lactation room from the office and the needs of the nursing mother-- 2 or 3 times a day or as frequently as needed by the individual mother.  Supervisors should make every effort to accommodate these breaks.

(8)  Refrigeration:  If possible, a small refrigerator should be provided to accommodate safe storage of breast milk located sufficiently near an electrical outlet. 

3 FAM 3861.6  Interim Arrangements

(CT:PER-818;   06-01-2016)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Overseas)
(Locally Employed Staff and Contractors Assigned Overseas)

Although the provisions of the Patient Protection and ACA and FLSA pertaining to lactation breaks and lactation rooms do not apply outside of the United States, it is the policy of the Department to voluntarily provide breaks and facilities to nursing mothers working for the Department in foreign posts, similar to the breaks and facilities described in 3 FAM 3861.1(a)(1), to the extent practicable. Locally employed staff follows the provisions of local labor law.  

3 FAM 3862  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

(CT:PER-1058;   08-13-2021)
(State only)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees Assigned Domestically and Overseas including Contractors and Locally Employed Staff)

a. For reimbursement of expenses associated with the transport of breast milk expressed by an employee while on TDY and on PCS travel, please refer to 14 FAM 562.1 (6).

b. Additional program information and guidance, including a list of locations available for use by nursing mothers, may be found on the lactation program intranet page.

3 FAM 3863  through 3869  unassigned

UNCLASSIFIED (U)