South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed into law the “South Carolina Lactation Support Act,” requiring employers to provide employees reasonable unpaid break time, or paid break time or mealtime, each day to express breast milk.
This Act went into effect on June 25, 2020. The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) will have updated information to educate employers, employees, and employment agencies about their rights under this Act by July 25th. Employers then will have 30 days after SCHAC’s updates to comply.
How does this affect your business?
Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide a private space, other than a bathroom, where a lactating employee can express breast milk at work. These accommodations were already required by federal law; however, federal law only applies for the first year after the birth of the child. The South Carolina law does not limit the duration of accommodations. Employers can request that the employee use their regular breaks for lactation breaks, but if an employee cannot do so or needs more time, they are entitled to additional lactation breaks, which can be unpaid.
Willis HR will be updating you as we receive more clarification. It is imperative employers review their breast-feeding policies to ensure compliance with the new law. Policies and Employee Handbooks should be updated immediately and the appropriate personnel should be trained on how to manage requests. Need help making all of the necessary updates in order to stay complaint? Give us a call: 803-714-3715