Sustainable Agriculture Institute
Policy brief & purpose
SAI’s Workplace Breastfeeding Policy refers to our provisions for breastfeeding employees. We recognize that breastfeeding has many benefits for new mothers and their children. Our company wants to support our employees whenever they need it.
Why do we have a workplace breastfeeding policy?
Our breastfeeding policy is part of our program for supporting mothers in completing their parental duties and bonding with their babies.
This policy applies to all new mothers in our company regardless of rank, status, and position.
New mothers can pump/express milk or breastfeed their babies in the workplace. They can take reasonable unpaid breaks whenever there’s a need. A general provision for these breaks is 15 minutes. But, employees are allowed to take as much additional time as they need.
For this purpose, we have also planned for a lactation room.
This room will be:
- Separate from bathrooms and meeting rooms
- Shielded from view by the public and coworkers
- Equipped with comfortable chairs, electric plugs, a table, and a sink
- Cleaned and sanitized regularly
The room will lock from the inside. The company can also install a fridge where employees can store their milk.
In general, we will be ready to take more steps to make breastfeeding mothers feel more comfortable. The HR department will accept and consider requests for improving the lactation room. For example, we can add music, pictures or other improvements upon request.
Unless the law provisions differ, lactation breaks are generally unpaid. If employees would like to receive their usual compensation, they can choose to extend their working time (daily or weekly) to cover time spent in the lactation room. To do this, they have to receive approval from their supervisor and HR. Another alternative is to use their Paid Time Off (PTO).
We should note that employees will be compensated as usual if they are summoned for an emergency or occupied with urgent job-related issues during their lactation breaks. However, we encourage employees to use these breaks as expected.
- Employees can use this policy’s provisions for one year after their child’s birth.
- Breastfeeding employees should not be disturbed with work issues when using the lactation room.
- If employees use their paid breaks to pump/express milk, they will be compensated as usual. Employees can use their lunch breaks for this purpose too.
- Employees should inform their supervisors when they want to use the lactation room to avoid confusion.
- Supervisors aren’t allowed to prohibit employees from a break time for breastfeeding and pumping/expressing milk. Doing so could result in disciplinary action.
- Employees should not take break time when it’s not needed or be consistently late to return. Doing so might violate our attendance policy.
- Supervisors and the HR department are obliged to communicate this policy to employees.
- At a time when infants are very young and breastfeeding is frequent, it’d be best for new mothers to use their maternity leave.
- All employees should support new mothers. We will not tolerate comments, disturbance, or victimization of our employees.
To make sure that this policy works well, we require employees to record their lactation breaks. They can do this through a timekeeping system (if one exists) or through communication with their manager. In this case, both manager and employee are responsible for recording break times.
Also, to avoid confusion and tension between many employees who need to breastfeed, we will set up a system where employees can book the lactation room. In this case, employees can use the room for the determined time and no longer. Multiple employees can use the room simultaneously only after mutual consent.
Employees who have complaints about the process, the room, or their coworkers’ behavior can use our grievance procedure to let us know. All legitimate complaints will be investigated and resolved.