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Nevada state employees fear new policy will limit time moms can breast pump while working

Posted at 7:37 AM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 10:37:03-04

Some Las Vegas valley mothers are furious after they say their job will begin limiting the amount of time mothers can breast pump while working.  

The Nevada Health and Human Services Department laid out the new policy for its employees this week.

The "Break Time and Place to Express Milk Policy" says working mothers will be given "two regularly scheduled 15 minute breaks to express milk."

Erica Delmore, who works as a midwife, says that is not enough time for a first-time mother. 

"15 minutes is maybe enough if you are on your second or third baby," Delmore said. "If she doesn't pump frequently that milk supply drops and the one who suffers is her baby." 

The policy does say if the mother needs more than the allowed time to breast pump, employees can use annual leave, compensation time, or leave without pay to make up the difference. 

"This does not serve mothers and babies. This does not put their interest first," Delmore said. 

13 Action News reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services and asked why they changed their policy. 

They say it's a part of a new state legislation that mandates state employees must be given a reasonable time to breastfeed. Yet, employees don't feel like this is enough time.

In a letter sent to staff, the department did say "the division recognizes this may have an impact on working mothers" and won't begin implementing the policy until October. 

Health and Human Services is providing lactation rooms for mother, which many work places don't have. 

They also say they have yet to receive any official complaints from employees on this policy.