Rhode Island

Public Breastfeeding Law

§ 23-13.5-1 Breastfeeding in public places. – A woman may feed her child by bottle or breast in any place open to the public.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2008, ch. 223, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 308, § 1.)

§ 11-45-2 Indecent exposure – Disorderly conduct.

(e) In no event shall the provisions of this section be construed to apply to breastfeeding in public.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2008, ch. 183, § 2.)

Enforcement Provision

§ 23-13.5-2 Remedies. – In any civil action alleging a violation of this chapter, the court may:

(1) Afford injunctive relief against any person, entity or public accommodation that commits or proposes to commit a violation of this chapter; and

(2) Award compensatory damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2008, ch. 223, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 308, § 1.)

Workplace Pumping Law

§ 23-13.2-1 Workplace policies protecting a woman’s choice to breastfeed. – (a) An employer may provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her infant child to maintain milk supply and comfort. 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 create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

(b) An employer shall make a reasonable effort to provide a private, secure and sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk or breastfeed her child.

(c) The department of health shall issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers.

(d) As used in this section:

(1) “Employer” means a person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state and any political subdivision of the state;

(2) “Employee” means any person engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer;

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

(4) “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.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2003, ch. 53, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 67, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 43.)

Enforcement Provision

None. Entirely voluntary on the part of the employer.

2 Responses to “Rhode Island”

  1. sadie says:

    I am going to work for a Massachusetts company in a few days, but it is through a temporary agency in Rhode Island. How would the law apply for workplace pumping? I understand MA has no law on workplace pumping and RI does.

    • admin says:

      It really will depend on who the employer is. Which company is on your paycheck. That is likely the company bound to follow the law of its state.