District of Columbia



Public Breastfeeding Law

§ 2-1402.82. Rights of breastfeeding mothers.

(b) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to deny a woman any right provided under this section.

(c) (1) A woman shall have the right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding of her child.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of District of Columbia law governing indecent exposure or the definition of the private or intimate parts of a female person, including that portion of the breast that is below the top of the areola, a woman shall have the right to breastfeed in accordance with this section.

Enforcement Provision

(a) The decision and order of the Commission shall be served on the respondent, with notice that, if the Commission determines that the respondent has not, after 30 calendar days following service of its order, corrected the unlawful discriminatory practice and complied with the order, the Commission will certify the matter to the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and to such other agencies as may be appropriate for enforcement.

(b) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia shall institute, in the name of the District, civil proceedings including the seeking of such restraining orders and temporary or permanent injunctions, as are necessary to obtain complete compliance with the Commission’s orders. In the event that successful civil proceedings do not result in securing such compliance, the Attorney General shall institute criminal action.

(c) No enforcement action shall be instituted pending review as provided in § 2-1403.14.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any person of rights in the criminal justice process.

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(D) The payment of compensatory damages to the person aggrieved by such practice;

(E) The payment of reasonable attorney fees;

(E-1) The payment of civil penalties , which shall be deposited in the General Fund, according to the following schedule:

(i) In an amount not to exceed $10,000 if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior unlawful discriminatory practice;

(ii) In an amount not to exceed $25,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 1 other unlawful discriminatory practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

(iii) In an amount not to exceed $50,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 2 or more unlawful discriminatory practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

(F) The payment of hearing costs, as, in the judgment of the Commission, will effectuate the purposes of this chapter, and including a requirement for a report as to the manner of compliance with such decision and order.

(2) With regard to compensatory damages, civil penalties , and attorneys fees, the Commission shall develop guidelines which shall be submitted to the Council for review prior to implementation.

(b) If, upon all the evidence, the Commission finds that a respondent has not engaged in any unlawful discriminatory practice, the Commission shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant, an order dismissing the complaint as to such respondent.

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§ 2-1403.16. Private cause of action [Formerly § 1-2556].

(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages and such other remedies as may be appropriate, unless such person has filed a complaint hereunder; provided, that where the Office has dismissed such complaint on the grounds of administrative convenience, or where the complainant has withdrawn a complaint, such person shall maintain all rights to bring suit as if no complaint had been filed. No person who maintains, in a court of competent jurisdiction, any action based upon an act which would be an unlawful discriminatory practice under this chapter may file the same complaint with the Office. A private cause of action pursuant to this chapter shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within one year of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, except that the limitation shall be within 2 years of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, for complaints of unlawful discrimination in real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA. The timely filing of a complaint with the Office, or under the administrative procedures established by the Mayor pursuant to § 2-1403.03, shall toll the running of the statute of limitations while the complaint is pending.

(b) The court may grant any relief it deems appropriate, including, the relief provided in §§ 2-1403.07 and 2-1403.13(a).

Workplace Pumping Law

(d) (1) An employer shall provide reasonable daily unpaid break periods, as required by the employee, so that the employee may express breast milk for her child to maintain milk supply and comfort. If any break period, paid or unpaid, is already provided to the employee by the employer, the break period required shall run concurrently with the break periods already provided. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an employer shall not be required to provide break periods if it would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

(2) An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her breast milk in privacy and security. The location may include a childcare facility in close proximity to the employee’s work location.

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(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Reasonable efforts” means any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of an employer’s business.

(2) “Undue hardship” means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, its financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

(D.C. Law 2-38, § 282, as added Dec. 11, 2007, D.C. Law 17-58, § 2(b), 54 DCR 10714.)

§ 2-1401.05. Discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding [Formerly § 1-2505].

(a) For the purposes of interpreting this chapter, discrimination on the basis of sex shall include, but not be limited to, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding.

(b) Women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or breastfeeding shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and this requirement shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement that an employer must treat an employee temporarily unable to perform the functions of her job because of her pregnancy-related condition in the same manner as it treats other employees with temporary disabilities.

Enforcement Provision

(a) The decision and order of the Commission shall be served on the respondent, with notice that, if the Commission determines that the respondent has not, after 30 calendar days following service of its order, corrected the unlawful discriminatory practice and complied with the order, the Commission will certify the matter to the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and to such other agencies as may be appropriate for enforcement.

(b) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia shall institute, in the name of the District, civil proceedings including the seeking of such restraining orders and temporary or permanent injunctions, as are necessary to obtain complete compliance with the Commission’s orders. In the event that successful civil proceedings do not result in securing such compliance, the Attorney General shall institute criminal action.

(c) No enforcement action shall be instituted pending review as provided in § 2-1403.14.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any person of rights in the criminal justice process.

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(D) The payment of compensatory damages to the person aggrieved by such practice;

(E) The payment of reasonable attorney fees;

(E-1) The payment of civil penalties , which shall be deposited in the General Fund, according to the following schedule:

(i) In an amount not to exceed $10,000 if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior unlawful discriminatory practice;

(ii) In an amount not to exceed $25,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 1 other unlawful discriminatory practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

(iii) In an amount not to exceed $50,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 2 or more unlawful discriminatory practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

(F) The payment of hearing costs, as, in the judgment of the Commission, will effectuate the purposes of this chapter, and including a requirement for a report as to the manner of compliance with such decision and order.

(2) With regard to compensatory damages, civil penalties , and attorneys fees, the Commission shall develop guidelines which shall be submitted to the Council for review prior to implementation.

(b) If, upon all the evidence, the Commission finds that a respondent has not engaged in any unlawful discriminatory practice, the Commission shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant, an order dismissing the complaint as to such respondent.

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§ 2-1403.16. Private cause of action [Formerly § 1-2556].

(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages and such other remedies as may be appropriate, unless such person has filed a complaint hereunder; provided, that where the Office has dismissed such complaint on the grounds of administrative convenience, or where the complainant has withdrawn a complaint, such person shall maintain all rights to bring suit as if no complaint had been filed. No person who maintains, in a court of competent jurisdiction, any action based upon an act which would be an unlawful discriminatory practice under this chapter may file the same complaint with the Office. A private cause of action pursuant to this chapter shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within one year of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, except that the limitation shall be within 2 years of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, for complaints of unlawful discrimination in real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA. The timely filing of a complaint with the Office, or under the administrative procedures established by the Mayor pursuant to § 2-1403.03, shall toll the running of the statute of limitations while the complaint is pending.

(b) The court may grant any relief it deems appropriate, including, the relief provided in §§ 2-1403.07 and 2-1403.13(a).



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