Illinois Breastfeeding Laws

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Mothers have the right to breastfeed in any public or private place they’re allowed to be. Illinois is a breastfeeding-positive state with workplace laws that exceed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by defining an employer as someone with more than 5 employees, replacing “unpaid break time” with “reasonable break time,” and extending coverage to all employees (not just hourly).

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We’ve awarded Illinois four drops on our scale.

 

IL Breastfeeding Laws: In Public

Mothers in Illinois have the right to breastfeed in public. Read the law: Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137 (2004)

Illinois Breastfeeding Laws: Airports

In 2016, Illinois passed the Lactation Accommodation in Airports Act that mandates that airports (with more than a million enplanements a year) provide accommodations for nursing mothers beyond security in every terminal. Read the law: Public Act 099-0228.

Illinois Breastfeeding Laws: For Students

Additionally, all Illinois public and charter schools must support breastfeeding students by providing a time and a private pace to pump. Read the law: 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 260/10. 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 820 § 260/15.2017 Ill. Laws, P.A. 29

 

Illinois Breastfeeding Laws: At Work

Illinois employers with more than five employees are required to support breastfeeding employees by providing reasonable break time, and a space (other than a bathroom) to pump at work. The law was amended in 2018 to remove the language of “unpaid break time.” Read the law here: Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 820 § 260 .

 

Illinois Breastfeeding Laws: Breastfeeding-Positive Municipalities

Chicago

The windy city took the lead on supporting traveling mamas by passing a lactation accommodation law for all Chicago airports in 2015 (one year before Illinois passed the state law). All airports in the city must have a lactation space (other than a restroom) beyond security in every terminal. Read the law: Municipal Code Chapter 10-36. Section 10-36-345

Illinois Breastfeeding FYI

In Illinois, breastfeeding mothers are exempt from public indecency laws and can be exempt from jury duty upon request.

 

Mamava Breastfeeding Laws key

One drop

State law protects breastfeeding in public (now true of all states). There are no state-level workplace breastfeeding laws. Breastfeeding mothers, who are paid hourly, are covered by the federal FLSA. Not the breast-case scenario.

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Two drops

State law provides workplace breastfeeding rights for specific employee sectors (e.g., city employees) OR mandates lactation accommodations for specific locations (e.g., airports, municipal buildings).

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Three drops

State law protects all working breastfeeding moms (not just hourly) and exceeds the federal FLSA law.

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Four drops

State law protects all working breastfeeding mothers AND additional state legislation protects specific populations OR mandates lactation accommodations for specific locations.

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Five drops

The gold standard. State law protects all working breastfeeding mothers, identifies standards for lactation spaces (e.g., access to a refrigerator), AND additional state legislation protects specific populations AND mandates lactation accommodations for specific locations.