SENATE, No. 1735

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 5, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  ELIANA PINTOR MARIN

District 29 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  CAROL A. MURPHY

District 7 (Burlington)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen McKnight, Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Conaway, Assemblywomen Speight and Downey

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain public facilities and offices to provide on-site lactation room; DOH to provide information about lactation room availability; and DOE to provide information on lactation policies in schools.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning lactation rooms and policies and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in this act:

     “Department” means the Department of Health.

     “Health care facility” means a health care facility that is licensed by the department pursuant to the “Health Care Facilities Planning Act,” P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.).

     “Lactation room” means a sanitary room, other than a restroom, which can be used by a mother to breast feed her baby or express milk in private, and which includes an electrical outlet, a chair, and nearby access to running water.

     “Medical Assistance Customer Center” means a community-based office that is operated by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services.

     “One-Stop Career Center” means the same as that term is defined by section 3 of P.L.1992, c.43 (C.34:15D-3).

 

     2.    a.  Every health care facility; federally qualified health center; county or municipal welfare office or agency; Medical Assistance Customer Center (MACC); One-Stop Career Center operated by, or under the authority of, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; adoption agency or center operated by, or under the authority of, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families; foster care services agency contracted by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency; or local office of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, shall, where practicable, make at least one lactation room available, upon request, to any mother who is utilizing on-site services.  The presence of any such lactation room shall not abrogate or otherwise limit the mother’s right to breast feed her baby in public, as provided by section 2 of P.L.1997, c.101 (C.26:4B-4).

     b.    The department shall create signage that:  (1) contains information about breast feeding; (2) affirms a mother’s right to nurse in public, as provided by section 2 of P.L.1997, c.101 (C.26:4B-4); and (3) indicates that lactation rooms are being made available for the privacy and comfort of nursing mothers, pursuant to this act.  Such signage shall be distributed directly to the various facilities identified in subsection a. of this section, and shall additionally be posted, in a printable format, on the department’s Internet website.  A facility that is required to provide a lactation room pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall display the signage prepared under this subsection in a clear and conspicuous manner in the facility’s public waiting room, as well as in any lactation room that is made available pursuant to this act.

     c.     No later than one year after the effective date of this act, the department shall establish, and shall post at a publicly accessible location on its Internet website, a list of all facilities that have made lactation rooms available pursuant to this section.  Thereafter, the department shall make regular updates to the list, as may be necessary to ensure that it reflects the most up-to-date information on the availability of lactation rooms in the State.  The list established pursuant to this subsection shall additionally include a hyperlink to the reports on school lactation-related policies that have been posted on the Department of Education website in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of this act.

     d.    The department may adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to implement the provisions of this section, including rules and regulations that establish guidelines for the location and placement of lactation rooms within a facility, and rules and regulations that establish training requirements for staff who are employed at a facility where a lactation room is required.

 

     3.    a.  Within one year following the effective date of this act, and on an annual basis thereafter, the Department of Education shall evaluate, and report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, on the lactation-related policies that have been implemented at schools, colleges, and universities in the State. 

     b.    Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall:  (1) summarize the applicable policies in this area; (2) indicate the number and percentage of policies that authorize access to a designated lactation room; and (3) indicate the manner in which such policies were communicated to students, parents, and guardians during the preceding school year. 

     c.     Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall be posted at a publicly-accessible location on the Department of Education’s Internet website. 

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would require every health care facility; federally qualified health center; county or municipal welfare office or agency; Medical Assistance Customer Center (MACC); One-Stop Career Center operated by, or under the authority of, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development; adoption agency or center operated by, or under the authority of, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency in the Department of Children and Families; foster care agency contracted by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency; or local office of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, where practicable, to make at least one lactation room available, upon request, to any mother who is utilizing on-site services.  The presence of any such lactation room would not abrogate or otherwise limit the mother’s right to breast feed her baby in public, as provided by existing law.

     The bill would require the Department of Health (DOH) to create signage that:  contains information about breast feeding; affirms a mother’s right to nurse in public; and indicates that lactation rooms are being made available for the privacy and comfort of nursing mothers, pursuant to the bill’s provisions.  Such signage is to be distributed directly to the various facilities identified in the bill, and is also to be posted, in a printable format, on the department’s Internet website.  A facility that is required to provide a lactation room pursuant to the bill’s provisions would be required to display the prepared signage in a clear and conspicuous manner in the facility’s public waiting room, as well as in any lactation room that is made available.

     No later than one year after the bill’s effective date, the DOH would be required to establish, and post at a publicly accessible location on its Internet website, a list of all facilities that have made lactation rooms available pursuant to the bill’s provisions.  Thereafter, the DOH would be required to make regular updates to the list, as may be necessary to ensure that it reflects the most up-to-date information on the availability of lactation rooms in the State.  

     The bill would additionally require the Department of Education (DOE) to annually report to the Governor and Legislature on the lactation-related policies that have been implemented at schools, colleges, and universities in the State.  Each annual report is to:  summarize the applicable policies in this area; indicate the number and percentage of policies that authorize access to a designated lactation room; and indicate the manner in which such policies were communicated to students, parents, and guardians during the preceding school year.  Each report would be posted at a publicly-accessible location on the DOE’s Internet website, and a hyperlink to the DOE reports would also be included in the list of facilities that is posted on the DOH website.