Changes to Emory University's Lactation Program Policy

By: Audrey Adelson

May 2018


Over the past year, Human Resources (via The Emory WorkLife Resource Center) partnered with The Center for Women at Emory to review and update the University’s lactation program policy. The goal of this review was to enhance the experience for nursing mothers on campus and ensure that Emory was compliant with university and federal laws. A thorough review of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Emory University’s lactation program policy, as well as an audit of all lactation rooms on campus were included in this process.


In addition to the policy update, resources have been centralized in order to improve the experience and support of nursing mothers at the University, increase guidance for units hosting lactation spaces on campus, and educate managers about the legal protections of nursing mothers in the workplace. Resources have also been added to help managers support staff who are nursing. Emory University is committed to being a family-friendly employer and these policy revisions and program enhancements are intended to make sure Emory maintains this commitment and is in compliance with FLSA.

Effective, September 27, 2017, Emory University’s lactation policy will require that lactation rooms used for

the purpose of expressing breast milk be


•located in a space other than a bathroom, must be shielded from view and free from intrusion of co-workers and the public.

•these private spaces may or may not be specifically for nursing mothers, however, they will be made available when needed and will meet specific criteria set forth by federal regulations and by the university as outlined in the policy:


Lactation Room Requirements
Offer privacy
Be lockable when in use
Include signage for when in use
Include electrical outlets and garbage can that is emptied daily
Include a chair and a flat surface (other than the floor) to place breast pump and other supplies (I.e. table)
Enable user to wash hands and pump parts – preferably has a sink, but if not, has one within reasonable distance. If sink is not in the room, the room should include cleaning wipes and paper towel
Offers a clean and relaxing space with a comfortable temperature, good lighting, and proper ventilation
Includes visibly posted contact information for Room Manager
Rooms sufficient for more than one user, should include privacy dividers. Examples of floor to ceiling dividers for this purpose can be found:
Includes promotional material about lactation support at Emory University, including a copy of Emory University’s Lactation Support Policy
Includes promotional material supplied by the Emory WorkLife Resource Center to support working mothers at Emory.

A full version of Emory’s new lactation program policy can be found here.


Effective September 27, 2017, The Emory WorkLife Resource Center will serve as the central source for information for Emory’s Lactation Program. Expecting and nursing mothers, women returning from parental leave, human resource directors/representatives, lactation room managers and anyone interested in Emory’s Lactation Program should refer to their website for information. The Center for Women at Emory will continue to partner with the Emory WorkLife Resource Center on matters related to this program and each will have their own roles as outlined in the policy.


Questions pertaining to this policy change, should be directed to Mary Ellen Eady 404-727-4177.