Breastfeeding and Texas Law

Most states across the US have passed legislature protecting the rights of breastfeeding mothers. The laws below are specific to Texas. For more information on breastfeeding and the law in other states, please visit the La Leche League International webpage on breastfeeding and the law.


Texas Health and Safety Code
Title 2. Health
Subtitle H. Public Health Provisions
Chapter 165. Breast-feeding
Subchapter A. Breast-feeding Rights and Policies

Sec. 165.001. LEGISLATIVE FINDING.
The legislature finds that breast-feeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values. In compliance with the breast-feeding promotion program established under the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. Section 1771 et seq.), the legislature recognizes breast-feeding as the best method of infant nutrition.

Sec. 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED.
A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Sec. 165.003. BUSINESS DESIGNATION AS “MOTHER-FRIENDLY”.
(a) A business may use the designation “mother-friendly” in its promotional materials if the business develops a policy supporting the practice of worksite breast-feeding that addresses the following:

(1) work schedule flexibility, including scheduling breaks and work patterns to provide time for expression of milk;

(2) the provision of accessible locations allowing privacy;

(3) access nearby to a clean, safe water source and a sink for washing hands and rinsing out any needed breast-pumping equipment; and

(4) access to hygienic storage alternatives in the workplace for the mother’s breast milk.

(b) The business shall submit its breast-feeding policy to the department. The department shall maintain a list of “mother-friendly” businesses covered under this section and shall make the list available for public inspection..

Sec. 165.004. SERVICES PROVIDED BY STATE AGENCIES.
Any state agency that administers a program providing maternal or child health services shall provide information that encourages breast-feeding to program participants who are pregnant women or mothers with infants.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 600, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.


H.B. No. 786

AN ACT

relating to the right of a public employee to express breast milk in the workplace.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 6, Government Code, is amended by adding Chapter 619 to read as follows:

CHAPTER 619. RIGHT TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK IN THE WORKPLACE

Sec. 619.001.  DEFINITION.

In this chapter, “public employer” means:

(1)  a county, a municipality, or another political subdivision of this state, including a school district; or

(2)  a board, a commission, an office, a department, or another agency in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of state government, including an institution of higher education.

Sec. 619.002.  RIGHT TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK.

An employee of a public employer is entitled to express breast milk at the employee’s workplace.

Sec. 619.003.  POLICY ON EXPRESSING BREAST MILK.

(a) A public employer shall develop a written policy on the expression of breast milk by employees under this chapter.

(b)  A policy developed under Subsection (a) must state that the public employer shall:

(1)  support the practice of expressing breast milk; and

(2)  make reasonable accommodations for the needs of employees who express breast milk.

Sec. 619.004.  PUBLIC EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES.

A public employer shall:

(1)  provide a reasonable amount of break time for an employee to express breast milk each time the employee has need to express the milk; and

(2)  provide a place, other than a multiple user bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from other employees and the public where the employee can express breast milk.

Sec. 619.005.  DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED.

A public employer may not suspend or terminate the employment of, or otherwise discriminate against, an employee because the employee has asserted the employee’s rights under this chapter.

Sec. 619.006.  NO CAUSE OF ACTION CREATED.

This chapter does not create a private or state cause of action against a public employer.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

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