Philadelphia now expressly requires both private and public employers to provide workplace accommodations for nursing mothers pursuant to an amendment to the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance signed by Mayor Michael A. Nutter on September 3, 2014. The amendment, which is effective immediately, requires employers to provide employees with reasonable break times and a private, sanitary space (other than a bathroom) for expressing breast milk. Unlike the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (which only applies to nonexempt employees as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act), the Philadelphia ordinance does not distinguish between exempt and nonexempt employees. By eliminating this distinction, the ordinance makes it an unlawful employment practice for a Philadelphia employer to fail to reasonably accommodate any nursing mother (exempt and nonexempt alike).
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