Public Breastfeeding Law

(720 ILCS 5/11-30) (was 720 ILCS 5/11-9)
Sec. 11-30. Public indecency.
(a) Any person of the age of 17 years and upwards who performs any of the following acts in a public place commits a public indecency:
(1) An act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct; or
(2) A lewd exposure of the body done with intent to

arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person.
Breast-feeding of infants is not an act of public indecency.


Right to Breastfeed Act.
(740 ILCS 137/1)
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Right to Breastfeed Act.
(Source: P.A. 93-942, eff. 8-16-04.)

(740 ILCS 137/5)
Sec. 5. Purpose. The General Assembly finds that breast milk offers better nutrition, immunity, and digestion, and may raise a baby’s IQ, and that breastfeeding offers other benefits such as improved mother-baby bonding, and its encouragement has been established as a major goal of this decade by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The General Assembly finds and declares that the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that babies be fed breastmilk, unless medically contraindicated, in order to attain an optimal healthy start.
(Source: P.A. 93-942, eff. 8-16-04.)

(740 ILCS 137/10)
Sec. 10. Breastfeeding Location. A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding; however, a mother considering whether to breastfeed her baby in a place of worship shall comport her behavior with the norms appropriate in that place of worship.
(Source: P.A. 93-942, eff. 8-16-04.)

Enforcement Provision

(740 ILCS 137/15)
Sec. 15. Private right of action. A woman who has been denied the right to breastfeed by the owner or manager of a public or private location, other than a private residence or place of worship, may bring an action to enjoin future denials of the right to breastfeed. If the woman prevails in her suit, she shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and reasonable expenses of litigation.
(Source: P.A. 93-942, eff. 8-16-04.)

Workplace Pumping Law

Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act.
(820 ILCS 260/1)
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act.
(Source: P.A. 92-68, eff. 7-12-01.)

(820 ILCS 260/5)
Sec. 5. Definitions. In this Act:
“Employee” means a person currently employed or subject to recall after layoff or leave of absence with a right to return at a position with an employer or a former employee who has terminated service within the preceding year.
“Employer” means an individual, corporation, partnership, labor organization, or unincorporated association, the State, an agency or political subdivision of the State, or any other legal, business, or commercial entity that has more than 5 employees exclusive of the employer’s parent, spouse, or child or other members of the employer’s immediate family. “Employer” includes an agent of an employer.
(Source: P.A. 92-68, eff. 7-12-01.)

(820 ILCS 260/10)
Sec. 10. Break time for nursing mothers. An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide break time under this Section if to do so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.
(Source: P.A. 92-68, eff. 7-12-01.)

(820 ILCS 260/15)
Sec. 15. Private place for nursing mothers. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee described in Section 10 can express her milk in privacy.
(Source: P.A. 92-68, eff. 7-12-01.)

(820 ILCS 260/99)
Sec. 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.
(Source: P.A. 92-68, eff. 7-12-01.)

Enforcement Provision

None apparent.

14 Responses to “Illinois”

  1. Jacquelyn says:

    Thank you so much for this site. I had no idea that while a mother has a right to breastfeed in public that in some states there is nothing she can do if she is harassed about it. I am also extremely grateful that you posted each state’s laws regarding breastfeeding. I am happy to know that IL has an enforcement provision and that I can do something if I am harassed. I would like to be kept informed, if possible, of ways that I can help other mothers in other states be able enforce the same rights. No mother should be harassed for taking care of their child.

  2. Dr Raven says:

    Public Act 094-0391

    Exempts nursing mothers from jury service

    Effective Jan 1, 2006
    The Jury Act was amended to include: “any mother nursing her child shall, upon request, be excused from jury service”.

    • admin says:

      Thanks! Remember this site does not include jury duty law. Some day with more money so I can do the research process and maintain that (which changes frequently). But for now, happy to have folks volunteer.

      Also remember state law can exempt from jury duty in state courts only. Illinois also has several federal courts which have their own rules on exemption.

  3. Jasmine in IL says:

    I work for my region’s largest employer as a Customer Service Specialist for one of the country’s largest financial institutions and I am getting the run around trying to get an accommodation to express my milk. Managers refer me to HR who refer me to corporate who won’t take my call. I’ve done everything that they’ve asked (first a dr’s note, then a form that I sent twice but they wont confirm they recieved) and now I’m hitting a brick wall. What can I do?

    • sobia says:

      Try calling la leche they are great advisors. And also contact your countys office. You can actually sue ur workppl if they dont allow you to express breastmilk! Its the law!

      • admin says:

        Advice from La Leche League generally comes from this website.

        Illinois law does allow for a lawsuit under its workplace pumping law. However, it does appear you would need a lawyer to bring one.

  4. Charlotte says:

    I am so sad and bothered and need advice. I was asked to not breastfeed at the Brookstone store today. Mom was sitting in one of those massager chairs. Then my two month old bany started crying. It was so cold outside I was thinking of walking back to Nordstroms (where they have a really nice nursing station) but we would not have made it without going into the ugly cry. So I got my nursing cover out and sat down next to mom in the other chair. While nursing, a woman employee came over and said “there is no food or drink allowed in the store”. I looked at my mom cause I thought she might of had a water or something. Then I felt the glare from this employee and she then said looking at me ” I mean no breastfeeding. I mean this is very uncomfortable but…, the chairs are very expensive and we don’t want anything happening to them. ” I politely said ok and stood up, turned my back to her, and tried to hurry baby to finish because I was so embarrassed and so upset. I really wanted to yell at that lady, do you know how hard and uncomfortable it is to nurse in public already and then you ask me not to do it in your store! It really bothered me even when I am going to bed so I looked up the law. What should I do to change them so they don’t do that to someone else?

    • admin says:

      So sorry this happened to you. :(

      You can complain to the store manager and to the corporate offices of Brookstone. You can also discuss filing a law suit with a local attorney.

  5. Samantha says:

    I am a bartender and I don’t usually ever take breaks well I didn’t before leaving and we are exactly given them but the smokers are always going out for their “fixes” now I don’t see how me taking my time will be harmful to their business at all and I’m afraid I may have a problem with my boss about it. I need help on how to handle the situation.. If we are busy am I still obligated to my break time? There are always two bartenders. I work a minimum of 8 hours at a time.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I drive a city bus and am returning to work very soon. We do not get breaks unless a shift is chosen that has one in the schedule. I feel relatively confident my employer will do their best to help me come up with a solution to my schedule to accommodate pumping, but I wanted to check into the law that I’d heard about. I am confused about the statement “An employer is not required to provide break time under this Section if to do so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations.” Couldn’t all employers make this claim?

    • admin says:

      Yes, any employer could make this claim but would need to support it. I have been unable to find any legal authority that provides enforcement for Illinois’ workplace pumping law so frankly have no idea to whom one would even complain.