Washington



Public Breastfeeding Law

(1) The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. This right shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The right to obtain and hold employment without discrimination;

(b) The right to the full enjoyment of any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement;

(c) The right to engage in real estate transactions without discrimination, including discrimination against families with children;

(d) The right to engage in credit transactions without discrimination;

(e) The right to engage in insurance transactions or transactions with health maintenance organizations without discrimination: PROVIDED, That a practice which is not unlawful under RCW 48.30.300, 48.44.220, or 48.46.370 does not constitute an unfair practice for the purposes of this subparagraph;

(f) The right to engage in commerce free from any discriminatory boycotts or blacklists. Discriminatory boycotts or blacklists for purposes of this section shall be defined as the formation or execution of any express or implied agreement, understanding, policy or contractual arrangement for economic benefit between any persons which is not specifically authorized by the laws of the United States and which is required or imposed, either directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, by a foreign government or foreign person in order to restrict, condition, prohibit, or interfere with or in order to exclude any person or persons from any business relationship on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or national origin or lawful business relationship: PROVIDED HOWEVER, That nothing herein contained shall prohibit the use of boycotts as authorized by law pertaining to labor disputes and unfair labor practices; and

(g) The right of a mother to breastfeed her child in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement.

RCW 49.60.215
Unfair practices of places of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, amusement — Trained dog guides and service animals.

(1) It shall be an unfair practice for any person or the person’s agent or employee to commit an act which directly or indirectly results in any distinction, restriction, or discrimination, or the requiring of any person to pay a larger sum than the uniform rates charged other persons, or the refusing or withholding from any person the admission, patronage, custom, presence, frequenting, dwelling, staying, or lodging in any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement, except for conditions and limitations established by law and applicable to all persons, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as a mother breastfeeding her child, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability: PROVIDED, That this section shall not be construed to require structural changes, modifications, or additions to make any place accessible to a person with a disability except as otherwise required by law: PROVIDED, That behavior or actions constituting a risk to property or other persons can be grounds for refusal and shall not constitute an unfair practice.

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Indecent exposure.

(1) A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm. The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.

Enforcement Provision

(2) Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys’ fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.).

[Complaint may be filed with Washington state Human Rights Commission.]

Workplace Pumping Law

None

Enforcement Provision

None



6 Responses to “Washington”

  1. Bianca says:

    Hello,
    I am looking to find out if I need to pursue anything further with my company or if they way they are interpreting the law is correct.

    I am a nursing mother, my child is over 12months old and I have been bullied to change my nursing schedule based on the fact that my child is over 12months old.

    Excerpt from an email from HR to the 8 nursing mothers (2 of us have children over a year old)

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, known as the “Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth.” Therefore, we will allow the mothers with children under 12 months to sign up first. We will still allow mothers with children over 12 months to use the room.

  2. Joyce says:

    I have no issue against any woman who chooses to pump her breasts at work for her child who is 6 months. This is my work scenario at the moment. The woman in question works weekends only and works from home as well. I have missed two lunch breaks and quite a few 15 minute breaks because she is “pumping” her breasts so she can store milk for her son. She has returned to work after a six-month leave and I have recently started working with her (1 month). I am upset because she “falls asleep” sometimes while pumping her breast, her 15 minute breaks turn into hour-long periods and her lunches, 30 minutes, have become 2 hour plus lunches. I am wondering if there any laws that protect some one such as myself who is being cheated of my breaks and time needed to decompress through out the day. I am still docked for my lunch even if I DO NOT get one. I am afraid to approach HR or my office manager since it is very “pro-baby”. I work in a retirement home where it can be demanding. I think the law, if there is indeed one, should take into consideration other employees when an individual encroaches on the rights of other co-workers!

    • admin says:

      If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you should bring this to the attention of your supervisor.

  3. sarah says:

    I work in Oregon, and its my understanding that you can pump at work for up to 30min for every 4hrs worked until the child is 18mo old.

    • admin says:

      Look at the Oregon page and for more detail contact the Oregon Department of Labor.