Nursing Mothers and Lactation Rooms
Information and Support for Faculty and Staff
As part of our family-friendly benefits, the University of Northern Iowa supports nursing employees by providing reasonable break time and a private space to express breast milk during their workday. In addition, health insurance plans offered by UNI may cover part of the cost for a breast pump as it is considered durable medical equipment. Employees are encouraged to check their coverage manual for plan details.
- Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, most employees have the right to take reasonable break time to express breast milk for their nursing child for up to one year after the child’s birth, each time the employee has the need to express milk.
- Employees who work remotely are eligible to take pump breaks under the FLSA on the same basis as other employees.
- The frequency and duration of breaks needed will vary depending on factors such as the location of the space and steps reasonably necessary to express breast milk.
- Supervisors may not deny a nursing employee a needed break to pump and should work with the employee to support these breaks.
- When a nursing employee is using break time at work to express breast milk, they either must be completely relieved from duty or paid for the break time.
- An employee who uses such break time to pump breast milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time.
- More information about compensated time may be found on the FLSA Fact Sheet #22.
- Nursing employees must be provided with a private space to express breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public.
- Remote employees must also be free from observation by any employer-provided or required video system; including computer camera, security camera, or web conferencing platform.
- A bathroom, even if private, is not a permissible location for the employer to provide for pumping breast milk.
- At minimum, the lactation space should have a chair, flat surface (such as a side table), and an electrical outlet. For more information, visit Location for Breaks.
- The University offers six private lactation rooms for nursing employees to use. Lactation rooms are located in Gilchrist Hall, Bartlett Hall, Maucker Union, Schindler Education Center, and the Child Development Center in Nielsen Field House.
- If these locations are not ideal for reasonable break times based on the employee's main campus location, supervisors may also consider other temporary options such as the employee's office, an unoccupied office, a vacant room, conference room, or a lounge.
- The University reserves the right to require medical certification to support the intent of breaks to express milk and use of lactation rooms.
- Students who have a need to express milk during their day on campus may also access these lactation rooms as available.
University Lactation Room Locations
|The Gilchrist lactation room number is 114 and is located directly across from the Registrar’s office on the first floor. This room is furnished with a stationary chair, small table, refrigerator, and microwave. There is also a small sink along with soap and a bottle brush for washing. A key is required to use this lactation room which may be requested online by completing the Key Request Form. Human Resource Services (HRS) also maintains a key to this room. There is a latch on inside of the door that shows the room is occupied when locked and vacant when not locked. Access to this room's designated scheduling calendar may be requested from HRS. Student parents or visitors to campus who wish to use this lactation room may contact HRS at 319-273-2422 for assistance regarding room availability and options.
|The Bartlett lactation room number is 0022. It is furnished with a comfortable chair, table, and hooks on the back of the door. There is also a small sink with paper towels and soap for washing. This room locks from the inside so there is no key needed. When locked, the outside of the door lock is red to signal that the room is in use. There is also a sign that may be posted on the door to notify others that the room is occupied. There is no calendar or schedule to use this lactation room so it may be accessed when vacant.
|The lactation room number is 030 and is located in the corridor that connects Maucker Union and Lang Hall. The room is furnished with a table, chair, footstool, mirror, and coat hook. There is also a refrigerator, changing table, sink, and paper towels. The door locks from the inside so there is no key needed. There is no calendar or schedule to use this lactation room so it may be accessed when vacant.
|Schindler Education Center
|There are two lactation rooms in the SEC which are located on the first floor in room 146 and the sixth floor in room 608. Both rooms are furnished with a swivel chair, side table, mirror, sink, and paper towels. There is a baby changing station in room 146 and an extra mesh desk chair in room 608. Both rooms lock from the inside and display a red lock symbol so there is no key needed. No calendar or schedule is maintained for either lactation room so they may be accessed when vacant.
|Nielsen Field House
|The lactation room number is 175A and it is located in the Child Development Center (CDC). The room is furnished with a glider chair, lamp, table, and hand-washing sink. There is also a mirror, fan, clean burp cloths, baby bouncer, and cups for water. This room locks from the inside so there is no key needed; however, access is limited to CDC staff, student employees, and parents of enrolled children. Nursing UNI employees or students who are not affiliated with the CDC and need access to this location for expressing breast milk should contact the CDC Director, Maria Ackerson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 273-3946. Parents of enrolled children are welcome to nurse their babies anytime and use the lactation room as often as needed.
- Designated lactation rooms on campus are provided to support nursing employees, student parents, and visitors with a private space to express breast milk during their day as frequently as needed.
- Refrigerators located in lactation rooms are supplied for the sole purpose of storing expressed milk during the work day. Stored containers of expressed milk should be labeled with the individual's name and date and should be removed on a daily basis. Any containers of expressed milk remaining in refrigerators at the end of the work week will be disposed of.
- Personal items should not be left for storage in lactation rooms after use. The University is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
- Individuals utilizing the lactation rooms, refrigerators, and microwaves are expected to maintain the cleanliness of the space and items after each use.
- Any maintenance issues should be reported to Facilities Management as soon as possible by calling 273-4400 or completing a service request
Leave & Accommodations Coordinator
Phone: (319) 273-6164
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Q: How do I request a key for the Gilchrist lactation room?
1A: You should complete a Key Request Form online and allow a minimum of five business days for the request to be processed. You will be contacted when your key is ready to be picked up.
- 2Q: How is each lactation room scheduled for use?
2A: Human Resource Services maintains a Google Calendar™ for scheduling use of the Gilchrist lactation room. Please contact Miranda.Cornish@uni.edu or 273-2423, in order to be added to the calendar or to request use. The CDC has an internal app used by staff and parents to communicate use of the lactation room. Other lactation rooms on campus do not have a calendar or schedule and may be accessed as needed when vacant.
- 3Q: How do I let people know the lactation room is in use?
3A: Each room differs; however, all doors lock from the inside which will prevent others from entering the room. Certain doors may show a signal on the outside that it is in use when locked. A sign may also be placed on the door when occupied if one is present in the room for that purpose. If using the Gilchrist lactation room, you should request access to the shared calendar to reserve your needed break times.
- 4Q: Who is able to gain access to each lactation room?
4A: Nursing employees may access the Gilchrist lactation room if they have been issued a key. Student parents or nursing visitors who need to use the Gilchrist lactation room during times that the room is not already occupied may request access from HRS. Access to the CDC lactation room should be requested by contacting Maria.Ackerson@uni.edu or 273-3946. Other lactation rooms on campus that do not require a key may be accessed as needed when vacant.
- 5Q: When I no longer need to use the Gilchrist lactation room, what do I do with my key?
5A: When you no longer need room access, please return your key to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office. The key may then be reissued to other nursing employees who may need it.