University Policies
Policy Contact
Director, Benefits Operations University Human Resources Email 401-863-2141

Nursing Parents in the Workplace Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

Brown University recognizes the health and well-being of employees and their infant children providing a workplace that supports the decision of an employee to breastfeed.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to faculty, staff, and students in staff positions.

3.0 Policy Statement

The University is committed to providing a supportive environment that encourages and enables employees to express breast milk in a private place, with reasonable break time. Any time used for expressing milk will run concurrently with the requirements for providing scheduled break time under Rhode Island state law. Employees are allowed reasonable time to express milk during work hours. Additionally, it is the policy of the University to prohibit discrimination and harassment of breastfeeding employees who exercise their rights under this policy.

4.0 Definitions


5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure compliance with it.

Employee: The employee is responsible for requesting and arranging in advance with their supervisor appropriate and reasonable break times or flexible scheduling for expressing milk. Employees provide their own pump, adapter, and accessories as well as a small cooler or insulated bag.

Supervisor: The supervisor is responsible for working with the employee to provide reasonable paid break times each day for employees wishing to express breast milk. The supervisor must provide a positive atmosphere of support for breastfeeding employees.

The University will provide a private, sanitary space with a lock on the door for expressing milk. A bathroom stall or storage area does not serve as a lactation space. If employees prefer, they may also express milk in their own private office. If you have a concern about the space provided, please contact Senior Benefits Special Programs Coordinator by emailing:

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures. 

7.0 Related Information

This policy is not a legal document. This policy does not confer a term of employment, nor is the language intended to establish a contract of employment, express or implied, between any employee and Brown University. The University reserves the right to change, amend or terminate any of its human resources policies at any time for any reason.

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws, and requirements.

7.1 Related Policies:

7.2 Related Procedures


7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


7.5 Other Related Information:

  • For information regarding Lactation Rooms on Campus and at Hospital locations, see: Lactation Resources.
  • Employee Break Guidelines: 
    • The length of the break must be dependent on the amount of travel time to or from the room to be used which is, typically, 20-30 minutes.
    • The number of breaks per day is, typically once every 3-4 hours.
    • For non-exempt employees, breaks satisfy break requirements as stated in the University Human Resources (UHR) policy, Work Schedules

Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Vice President of University Human Resources

Policy Approved by: Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration

Contact Information:

Director, Benefits Operations University Human Resources Email 401-863-2141

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary:

Updated to comply with University policy standards. Policy disclaimer notice added in section 7.0 on May 8, 2020. Policy footer removed on June 19, 2020. Policy superseded by this policy:

  • Nursing Mothers in the Workplace (30.029), Revision Date: September 11, 2019