Virginia Breastfeeding Laws

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In Virginia, mothers have the right to breastfeed in any public or private location, as long as they are legally allowed to be there. Despite passing a joint resolution in 2001 that “encourages” employers to recognize the benefits of breastfeeding by providing unpaid break time and appropriate space for employees to breastfeed or express milk, state law currently only provides protections for breastfeeding mothers who work in schools.

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We’ve awarded Virginia two drops on our scale.

 

VA Breastfeeding Laws: In Public

Mothers in Virginia have the right to breastfeed in public. Read the law: Va. Code § 2.2-1147.1 (2002, 2015)

 

VA Breastfeeding Laws: At Work

Virginia law protects breastfeeding teachers and students by directing all school boards to provide “breaks of reasonable length” and a private space (other than a bathrooms) to pump at school for up to one year. Read the law: Va. Code § 22.1-79.5. (2014).  All other working mothers in Virginia are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if they are a non-exempt (hourly) employee. Under this federal mandate, breastfeeding mothers are entitled to reasonable break time and a private space (other than a bathroom) to pump at work for one year following their child’s birth.

 

VA Breastfeeding FYI

Breastfeeding mothers are exempt from public indecency laws, as well as jury duty.

 

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.