BURLINGTON, NC – To ensure nursing mothers can care for their newborns and earn a living, federal law requires employers to designate a place for them to express milk privately without fear of intrusion.
A recent investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found supervisors employed by Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, better known as Labcorp, failed to secure an employee space as required at their clinical lab in Lynwood, California, in violation of the break time for nursing mothers’ requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company is headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina.
Investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that when an employee at the Lynwood location asked for a private place to express breast milk, supervisors offered a common space co-owned by Labcorp and a retail pharmacy chain operator, and used by employees of both companies. As a result, an employee trying to express breast milk was interrupted twice by other workers.
To resolve the violations, Labcorp will provide a private space as required with a notification on the door to guarantee an intrusion-free space. In addition, the company has published and advertised to employees the updated nursing mothers’ policy.
“Employers who fail to provide designated space as the law requires are creating a barrier for women willing and ready to return to the workforce,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Employers must provide nursing mothers a place – even a temporary one – to express milk. There are long term benefits to breast feeding both for families and employers. Mothers who breast feed generally take less time off work due to childhood illnesses. We applaud Labcorp’s efforts to quickly establish company-wide lactation break procedures.”
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates one of the world’s largest clinical laboratory networks, with more than 2,000 patient test locations and 36 primary labs in the U.S. The company’s clients include managed care groups, biopharmaceutical companies, government agencies, physicians and other healthcare providers.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division.