South Carolina

Public Breastfeeding Law

SECTION 63-5-40. Breastfeeding.

(A) A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother and her child are authorized to be.

(B) Breastfeeding a child in a location where the mother is authorized to be is not considered indecent exposure.

HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 361, Section 2.

Enforcement Provision


Workplace Pumping Law


Enforcement Provision


27 Responses to “South Carolina”

  1. Jessica jones says:

    I live in south Carolina. I have yet to have a bad experience with breast feeding in public or having to express milk in the work place. I was fortunate to have a job where my employer was 100% supportive! I have 3 children and have willingly and proudly breast fed all of them :) I’m currently breast feeding my 2 month old son.

  2. Tia Prostko says:

    I live in Upstate SC and have been breastfeeding my first child for 3 months. I was really nervous to do so in public at first, but decided to just go for it at Greenille’s 4th of July celebration (I figured I’d be lost enough in the huge crowd for anyone to notice…). And it went great! Ever since, I figure if I can do it there, I can do it anywhere else. I’ve even done it walking through Walmart a few times and haven’t had any problems with anyone.
    South Carolina needs all the good publicity we can get, so hopefully we will continue to be, if nothing else, supportive of breastfeeding wherever it needs to happen! Thanks for your website. Knowing that this law exists here has helped my confidence so much. :)

    • admin says:

      I am so happy you feel confident nursing in public, as all women should. This law is not particularly helpful though. No breastfeeding women in the US has ever been charged with an indecency crime. SC women need a protected right.

  3. Summer says:

    My job discriminated against me pumping or breast feeding while at work. A convenient store. Problem is finding or affording an attorney.

    • admin says:

      Sadly Summer, I am not sure what an attorney could do for you. South Carolina does not, to my knowledge, offer you any remedy for workplace discrimination on the basis of breastfeeding or pumping. You can file a complaint under the federal law (see the federal page on this site) but unless you have lost wages, there is nothing the Department of Labor can do for you. :(

  4. Wendy says:

    It’s discrimination under the Civil Rights Act, Summer.

    • admin says:

      No, I am afraid you are wrong. This is not protected by either state or federal civil rights law.

  5. Summer says:

    I’m aware about US Dept of Labor however, The SC Human Affairs is investigating and mediation proceedings are coming soon. My Lawyer told me the state does cover this as it’s a new law but, will end up around about $25,000 to $50,000 max until regulations are written for the law(s)concerning this subject. Thanks for the replies.

  6. Jake says:

    Please keep me apprised. I know of no reason why SC state would promulgate regulation to enforce a federal law Congress chose to leave unenforceable.

  7. Summer says:

    Had a failed mediation today so court in a few weeks. Owner claims harassment cause I put in for unemployment then after that filed eeoc,human affairs and us dept of labor claims so all say I have a cut and dry case with two recordings. Hard to find women or men (prefer a woman) lawyers on contingency. Men lawyers say we won’t get much out of it. Woman lawyers say high amounts. I just want justice either way. Women rights. They broke the law its discrimination. Thanks for your help.

  8. Summer says:

    This is what I found. SC Affairs told me otherwise this morning. I guess we’ll learn together. have a great weekend. ūüėČ

    • admin says:

      If you look closely at these links, you will see that they are not inconsistent with what I have told you. The state law you cite is actually a bill that was introduced in 2008 but which failed. The private right of action is not in the current state law. Also you are mixing public accommodations and employment. Public accommodations law doesn’t apply in the employment context. There simply is no dispute: SC has no workplace pumping or breastfeeding protections. The public accommodations law has no enforcement mechanism.

  9. Chelsea says:

    Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers

    President¬†Obama¬†signed¬†the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, on March 23 and the¬†Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872,¬†on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full¬†text of¬†Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152¬†here.)¬† Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law¬†amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)¬†of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable¬†break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.¬†The employer¬†is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place,¬†other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.¬† If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs¬†fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements.¬†The federal requirements¬†shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.ould this not apply in these cases?

  10. Summer says:

    Update for you. I have a lawyer in Columbia that tells us she can win the case although a new law and not as strong as she’d like. We will see. Update when over. Summer

    • admin says:

      Summer, I am sorry but I think you may be a bit confused. Please have your lawyer call me if you like.

  11. curious says:

    Does a private establishment have the right to ask you to leave or feed in a bathroom if you are not using a coverup?

  12. admin says:

    SC law forbids it, as you can see above. However, since there is no enforcement provision, there isn’t much you can do if the law is violated.

    • Amy says:

      admin says:
      March 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm
      SC law forbids it, as you can see above. However, since there is no enforcement provision, there isn’t much you can do if the law is violated.

      So, even though there isn’t much you can do if the law is violated, you can at least make them aware and bully back at them? I hate to say it that way. I hate being a bully. I think I just need clarification. They cannot ask me to leave for nursing, covered or uncoverd, correct? The law doesn’t seem very specific on that note. I have heard many SC business owners state that even though a woman has the right, they also have the right to ask them to leave. Is that because they know they would not suffer any repercussion other than maybe bad PR?
      Can you make a suggestion as to where I can start to try to get this changed? Who to contact? How to reference? The process in general?
      I personally have not had an issue yet, but I fear as my twins get older and it’s more obvious what is going on (nursing) that this sort of situation may be more likely to arise. I have thought about getting “business cards” with the law printed on them so I could offer them politely to someone if asked to stop, cover, change location, or leave. What are your thoughts?

      • admin says:

        You can touch base though Facebook with groups in other states who have successfully organized to change the law, most recently in Michigan.

  13. Summer says:

    Although I’m under a gag order my case was settled out of court with the ex-employer admitting no wrong doing. Of course. If I hadn’t walked out my Columbia lawyer said I would be a millionaire if they had fired me. My mistake was walking out.

  14. cheyenne says:

    Thats so ignorant. I just got denied a job yesterday.i told the mani breast pump every three hours for 20 mins. He said oh we dont allow that here. And summer i do know of places that do allow breast pumping. My mom and my aunts job both allowed them. So its not illeglesandand it is discrimination. Wic office provides a paper stating a job cannot denie you to work or pump!!!!

  15. Summer says:

    EEOC and Dept. Of Labor were very little help however, Human Affairs was a great asset and helped me a lot. I’m blessed I Use of recorders on cell phone MP3 preferably, video from businesses video cameras, put recordings on CD.Local Sheriff, SC SLED and FBI Columbia said its legal. I hope this helps someone.

  16. Summer says:

    Cheyenne I agree with u. There are many places that still cause problems for us women. Maybe one day things will change for the better for all. Have a great and blessed day.