Public Breastfeeding Law

[UPDATE 2014]

Act 197 of 2014

37.232 Person with control over public accommodation or public service; prohibited conduct.
Sec. 2.

Except where expressly permitted by state or federal statute or a regulation promulgated thereunder, a person with control over a public accommodation or public service shall not do any of the following:

(a) Deny the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or public service to a woman because she is breastfeeding a child.

(b) Print, circulate, post, mail, or otherwise cause to be published a statement, advertisement, notice, or sign that indicates any of the following:

(i) That the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or public service will be refused, withheld from, or denied a woman because she is breastfeeding a child.

(ii) That a woman’s patronage of or presence at a place of public accommodation is objectionable, unwelcome, unacceptable, or undesirable because she is breastfeeding a child.


41.181 Adoption of ordinances by township board.

(4) As used in this section, “public nudity” means knowingly or intentionally displaying in a public place, or for payment or promise of payment by any person including, but not limited to, payment or promise of payment of an admission fee, any individual’s genitals or anus with less than a fully opaque covering, or a female individual’s breast with less than a fully opaque covering of the nipple and areola. Public nudity does not include any of the following:

(a) A woman’s breastfeeding of a baby whether or not the nipple or areola is exposed during or incidental to the feeding.

Enforcement Provision

[UPDATE 2014]

Act 197 of 2014

37.233 Civil action; injunctive relief and damages; costs; fees.
Sec. 3.

(1) A person alleging a violation of this act may bring a civil action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction for appropriate injunctive relief, actual damages or presumed damages of $200.00, or both injunctive relief and actual or presumed damages.

(2) In addition to the relief under subsection (1), a court rendering a judgment in an action brought under this act may award all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and witness fees, to the complainant in the action if the court determines that the award is appropriate.

Workplace Pumping Law


Enforcement Provision


31 Responses to “Michigan”

  1. Mark says:

    It does not bother me what a woman does is between her and baby.

    If you find it offensive, my advice walk away it all is how a person precieves it.

  2. Melissa says:

    Love your outlook Mark. Thank you!

  3. Rachel says:

    I was unaware that we had no workplace pumping laws. And I am a firm supporter of an enforcement provision. Guess I better quit wishing it were so, and do something.

    • erin says:

      There are laws on pumping at work. They are rarely followed. Companies are supposed to have a room that is not a public break room or a bathroom set a side for pumping mothers. Its a requirement but I have never seen it obeyed. No employer can force their employee to pump in the bathroom. That is emphasized in the law.

      • Twanisha says:

        I work for Secure 24 in Southfield. And they have dedicated nursing rooms equipped with seating, sinks and refrigerator’s. I’m expecting my first child this summer. And plan on nursing. I believe this has made that decision so much easier as I will still be able to pump during the day.

  4. Toni says:

    I am a Breastfeeding mom of a 2 month old little boy, i am glad that i looked this up for the next time we are out and he gets hungry, thanks for having this website. :)

  5. Brandy says:

    Babies are the result of our own existence, I think there should be law for accommodating the nursing mom both at work (pumping) and in public. Businesses in general have almost nothing to accommodate mothers. As a female in a male dominated industry it has made for many uncomfortable conversations and awkward results in order to allow for my breastfeeding choices.

  6. Rachel says:

    I will be moving back to Michigan soon and it’s good to know I’m still protected and able to breastfeed in public, however, it stuns me that there are no laws to accommodate the nursing working mother.

  7. Jazmin says:

    Ok so I can breastfeed in public but what protects me if I’m asked to leave a location because I’m breastfeeding? Could someone make me leave?

    • admin says:

      In Michigan, yes. You can be converted by the owner from an invitee to a trespasser and asked to leave for any reason not otherwise forbidden by law (race, etc).

  8. Deborah Fisch says:

    Marvelous website, Jake – what a great resource! Are you interested in jury duty exemptions/deferments for breastfeeding parents? If yes, see MCL 600.1307a, enacted last session. “3) A nursing mother may claim exemption from jury service for the period during which she is nursing her child and shall be exempt upon making the request if she provides a letter from a physician, a lactation consultant, or a certified nurse midwife verifying that she is a nursing mother.”

    I’m not sure jury duty is within the scope of your site, so do ignore if it isn’t useful to you. Thanks for all your work.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Deborah! The jury duty laws are a whole other website. Lots of work. There used to be one but it isn’t up to date anymore. There are a handful of states that have breastfeeding jury duty exemptions but far more common are court rules that exempt people primarily responsible for the care of a dependent. Those are just as useful for breastfeeding people but also cover people with disabled family members, elderly parents, and all small children, regardless of whether they are breastfed.

  9. Patty says:

    Hi, I thought that there was a pumping at work law? If you look it up in the Michigan Labor Laws, they say that a breast feeding woman must be given a place to pump in the workplace that is not a bathroom.

    This may just be the Federal Law but remember that Federal Laws still must be abided by.

  10. Sarah says:


    This is the department of labor website. Says the federal law was signed in March 2010. It’s kind of vague in actual guidelines though.

    • admin says:

      Please go to the Federal Law page on this website. The federal law has no enforcement mechanism so is of no use unless a woman is fired.

      • Karie says:

        I disagree that there is no enforcement on the Federal law. The United States Department of Labor states on their website you can file a complaint. I would think if they take a complaint in, they would follow up on it.

        • admin says:

          Unfortunately, most women I speak with who attempt to file a complaint with the DOL have been turned away. Those who have filed, have received no relief. I certainly encourage everyone to try, if for no other reason than for statistical purposes. But the DOL is not providing relief.

  11. Sara says:

    I do not understand why some people react to breastfeeding as though it is wrong. WAKE UP! Women are genetically made to breastfeed. In my opinion, we women should not have to search through laws and amendments to the laws so we can find a place to legally feed our babies.

  12. Christine says:

    So if I breastfeed in public in Michigan such as a restraunt, can they make me stop or not?

    • admin says:

      Yes. Your invitation can be withdrawn and you can be asked to leave as a trespasser. However, this can only be done by the owner of the business.

  13. Jenna Lenk says:

    I am a breastfeeding mother of a 7 month old, and I work full time so I pump at work. I am forced to use a bathroom to pump and its usually very dirty and unsanitary. I had no idea there are no laws protecting me pumping at work and I’m very upset by this. Wish something could be done.

    • Karie says:

      Jenna – there is no specific Michigan law that protects you, but the federal law does. They have to provide you a place to pump other than a bathroom (as long as there are more than 50 employees). Look it up here:


      • admin says:

        Karie, As you know the federal law has no enforcement provision. There is no debate about this. While the DOL claims to take complaints, most women who have called me have been refused the ability to file a complaint with the DOL. Even for those who do file complaints, the DOL does NOT have the power to provide any relief other than lost wages for women who are fired.

  14. Amie says:

    I would love to see a law protecting breastfeeding mother while at work. I work In a non-union factory and they don’t give us extra time to pump.

  15. Crystal says:

    Today I was told by my employer that if I am in the store in uniform wether I am on the clock or not I must cover my son wen I feed him because another employee complained about me feeding uncovered in the break room wile off the clock my son will not eat wile covered and our company policy states that we as associates are not allowed to ask a customer but there is nothing in the policy regarding an employee. So my question is can my employer ask me to cover wile nursing in public, or should I be regarded as a customer because I’m not on the clock? O btw I work for walmart. Wen my manager spoke with me today regarding this I was offended by the fact that I was being told how I needed to feed my child I was so upset I almost left work at that very moment is there anything I can bring to managements attention regarding this.

    • admin says:

      Your employer can’t interfere with your rights on your own time. However, the employer can require you not wear the uniform.

  16. Sharon says:

    I work for a school district. Just wondering what the law is regarding a mother that openly nurses (meaning not covering up) in a classroom full of elementary school children. Can she be asked to at least cover up?

    • admin says:

      In most states whether a public school is considered covered by the law varies. But I don’t see any reason why she should be asked to cover up.