Illinois Breastfeeding Laws

 

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: Courthouses

Effective June 1, 2019, all Illinois courthouses (or buildings that house circuit courts) must provide a private lactation space for nursing mothers. The law further stipulates that the lactation space cannot be a bathroom, and that it must include a chair, an outlet, and, when possible, a sink. Read the law: SB 3503/PA 100-0947


Illinois Breastfeeding Laws: For Students

All Illinois public and charter schools must support breastfeeding students by providing a time and a private pace to pump. Read the law: HB2369

 

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: 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.

Note: Mamava’s goal is to provide the most up-to-date legislative information available. But federal, state, and municipal laws are constantly evolving—which is a good thing! So if we’ve missed something, we appreciate any additions or corrections. Contact us at [email protected]

 
 

Now that you know the law, what next?

Take action to make breastfeeding better.

 
 
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Breastfeeding laws by state

 
 

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.