Breastfeeding At the Worksite

In March 2007, UTHSC-H joined a growing number of cutting-edge Texas businesses by becoming designated as a Mother-Friendly Worksite. Among the many benefits of the Mother-Friendly Worksite Program are increase employee morale, greater productivity, and the improved health of the employee’s child.

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1995 and administered by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Mother-Friendly Worksite Program recognizes companies and institutions that provide for new mothers returning to work and desiring to continue breastfeed. To be designated as a Mother-Friendly Worksite, businesses and institutions must provide work scheduled flexibility to allow time for pumping breastmilk or nursing infants, offer a private space where the employee can either pump or nurse, and ensure easy access to clean running water and refrigeration.

The agency keeps a list of all Mother-Friendly Worksites in Texas on the website, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/lactate/mother-worksites.shtm#item4.

A sampling of Texas companies that are designated as Mother-Friendly Worksites include: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, Dallas; Duke Energy, Houston; Electronic Data Systems, Plano; Gulf & Basco Company, Sherman; Huntsman Corp. and IBM Corp, Austin; Pizza hut, Inc., Dallas; Daingerfield-Lone Star Independent School District, Daingerfield; and Southern Warehouse Corp., Houston. Also designated are hospitals, state agencies and numerous city, county, and state health facilities.

 

Handbook of Operating Procedures
Policy 118

POLICY OVERVIEW

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-H) recognizes the benefits of breast feeding and has implemented and supports strategies and facilities in support of work site breast feeding in accordance with those standards instituted by the State of Texas. This support includes providing the work place flexibility required to schedule time to express milk; facilities that allow privacy for expressing milk; access to a clean, safe water source for washing hands and breast pumping equipment; and access to a hygienic storage alternative for the breast milk.

Accounting for Break Time used by Employees to Express Breast Milk
Non-exempt employees (employees whose job duties do not fall under one of the exemptions to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act) may use their break time to express milk.  If the time taken is less than twenty minutes, the employee will not be required to use paid leave or to make up the time in order to be compensated for the break time.  If the time taken is greater than twenty minutes, the employee will be required to use paid leave or to make up the time in order to be compensated for the break time.  Supervisors and employees should work together to explore shortening the employee’s lunch period or lengthening the employee’s work day in order to accommodate the expression of breast milk.
Exempt employees (employees whose job duties fall under the exemptions to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act) may take reasonable breaks throughout the work day to express milk.  It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure performance objectives are met.  Supervisors and employees should work together to develop a reasonable schedule.
The exemption status for all classified and management administrative and professional University positions is found in the job description listed on the Human Resources web site at:  http://hr.uth.tmc.edu/Compensation/compensation.html.  Employees with questions regarding the exemption status of their position should speak with their supervisor or may contact Human Resources at 713-500-3130.

PROCEDURE

 UTHSC-H working mothers and supervisors should work together to plan break times when the employee can express milk during the work day. This may include shortening the lunch period or extending the work day to allow the time necessary for expressing milk. The university also has several rooms throughout the campus where nursing mothers can express milk in privacy and have access to a clean, safe water source and sink for washing hands and breast pumping equipment as well as a hygienic storage alternative for breast milk.

LACTATION ROOM INFORMATION

Building
Room
Contact
Phone

Dental Branch

138 Lounge Area
Lynnette Lewis
713-500-4026
HCPC
2D52
Delia Saenz
713-741-7870
SON
SON 233

Maureen Dial

713-500-2011
IMM
Rm. 205
Lourdez Reyes
713-500-2404
Medical School Building
MSB B.619
Cindy Gutierrez
713-500-5017
Behavioral & Biomedical Sciences Building
Please see contact info
Mary Battaglia
713-486-2552
Operations Center Building
OCB 1.204A
Pat Dualeh
713-500-4744
R.A. Stallones Building-SPH
RAS W218
Robin Baker
713-500-9042
Recreation Center
Please see contact info
Ronda Gillie
713-500-8402
University Center Tower
UCT M25 (Mall Level)
Sam Hester
713-500-3327

 

The health science center has set aside these locations specifically for expressing milk.  Please contact the designated person for your building to set up a schedule that will accommodate your needs.  Some of the rooms do have locks, and you will need to coordinate with your contact to retrieve the key.  If you have any questions, please contact the Work/Life Coordinator at 713-500-3013.

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