Minnesota



Public Breastfeeding Law

145.905 LOCATION FOR BREAST-FEEDING. A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding. History: 1998

617.23 INDECENT EXPOSURE; PENALTIES. … Subd. 4.Breast-feeding. It is not a violation of this section for a woman to breast-feed.

Enforcement Provision

None

Workplace Pumping Law

181.939 Nursing Mothers
(a) An employer must 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 operations of the employer.
(b) The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or a toilet stall, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public and that includes access to an electrical outlet, where the employee can express her milk in privacy. The employer would be held harmless if reasonable effort has been made.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “employer” means a person or entity that employs one or more employees and includes the state and its political subdivisions.
(d) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this section.

Enforcement Provision

[added by amendment 2014]

Investigation

The Division of Labor Standards and Apprenticeship shall receive complaints of employees against employers relating to sections 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), and 181.939 to and investigate informally whether an employer may be in violation of sections 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), and 181.939 to The division shall attempt to resolve employee complaints by informing employees and employers of the provisions of the law and directing employers to comply with the law. For complaints related to section 181.939, the division must contact the employer within two business days and investigate the complaint within ten days of receipt of the complaint.

 
181.944 INDIVIDUAL REMEDIES

In addition to any other remedies provided by law, a person injured by a violation of sections 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), and 181.939 to 181.943 may bring a civil action to recover any and all damages recoverable at law, together with costs and disbursements, including reasonable attorney’s fees, and may receive injunctive and other equitable relief as determined by a court.

 



12 Responses to “Minnesota”

  1. Willow says:

    I am pretty sure we do have a workplace pumping law and in fact I think MN had one of, if not the, first in the country authored by then Sen Ellen Anderson.

  2. Melissa says:

    I have a question regarding being saleried and breastfeeding in Minnesota. Can a company tell you to come in early for your breastfeeding times if they label you as saleried?

  3. Beth says:

    Can you tell me what constitutes “in close proximity to the work area”? I work for a large corporation and am being told that I can no longer pump in my office but need to go to a designated space which is a 5-7 min walk (each way).

    • admin says:

      To my knowledge there is no court or administrative ruling clarifying this. If you believe your employer is not in compliance, you should definitely pursue the issue.

  4. Marcia McCoy says:

    Minnesota just amended the bf laws here. Here’s the amended text.
    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 181.939, is amended to read:
    181.939 NURSING MOTHERS.
    (a) An employer must 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 operations of the employer.
    (b) The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location,
    in close proximity to the work area, other than a bathroom or a toilet stall, that is shielded
    from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public and that includes access
    to an electrical outlet, where the employee can express her milk in privacy. The employer
    would be held harmless if reasonable effort has been made.
    (c) For the purposes of this section, “employer” means a person or entity that
    employs one or more employees and includes the state and its political subdivisions.
    (d) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for asserting rights or
    remedies under this section.

    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 181.9435, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
    Subdivision 1. Investigation. The Division of Labor Standards and Apprenticeship
    shall receive complaints of employees against employers relating to sections 181.940
    181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), and 181.939 to 181.9436 and investigate informally whether
    an employer may be in violation of sections 181.940 181.172, paragraph (a) or (d), and
    181.939 to 181.9436. The division shall attempt to resolve employee complaints by
    informing employees and employers of the provisions of the law and directing employers
    to comply with the law. For complaints related to section 181.939, the division must
    contact the employer within two business days and investigate the complaint within ten
    days of receipt of the complaint.

  5. Erica says:

    Thanks for the resources on this site! It’s a bit infuriating to see how many of the laws in this country are in such stark contrast to what’s been proven to be beneficial for babies. I had previously looked up the law for my state (MN) but this was the first I’d heard about the enforcement piece. I’m just curious about that- does it mean that every law needs an enforcement component or else we could choose not to follow it? From a practical point of view, if somebody did violate the law and ask me to stop BF, and I refuse, what could they possibly do? If they touch me to remove me from the property, cover me, etc., would I then have a claim of assault? Just trying to understand how to make the law that’s there work to the best of its abillity. Thanks again!

    • admin says:

      This issue is explained in the public breastfeeding article on this website. If the owner is left able to have convert invitees (the customer) to a trespasser – possible unless there is an express protection against it – than the owner may have the breastfeeding person removed or arrested for trespassing. But only law enforcement can remove you by force.

  6. Amanda R says:

    “Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 181.939, is amended to read:
    181.939 NURSING MOTHERS.
    underline begin(a) underline endAn employer must 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 operations of the employer.
    underline begin(b) underline endThe employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, other than a underline beginbathroom or a underline endtoilet stall, underline beginthat is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public and that includes access to an electrical outlet, underline endwhere the employee can express her milk in privacy. The employer would be held harmless if reasonable effort has been made.
    underline begin(c) underline endFor the purposes of this section, “employer” means a person or entity that employs one or more employees and includes the state and its political subdivisions.
    underline begin(d) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this section.”

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?id=239&year=2014&type=0#laws.4.3.0