Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 21, 2011
Corporate Voices for Working Families has published an updated version of its workplace lactation toolkit to help employers establish workplace lactation programs, comply with new provisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act passed into law with health care reform and to help employers adopt management strategies for 21st century success.
Corporate Voices’ online workplace lactation toolkit provides employers free, practical, high-quality guides, worksheets, information about the federal lactation provision, resource fliers in multiple languages, as well as success stories showcasing best practices from Ernst & Young, PNC Financial Services, LifeCare and Marriott International, Inc., among others. The toolkit is available online at: http://www.corporatevoices.org/lactation.
With the passage of health care reform in 2010, all employers in the United States are now required by federal law to provide nonexempt nursing mothers with reasonable break time and a sanitary space to pump milk at work. The benefits of breastfeeding for maternal and infant health are well-documented, and supporting nursing mothers in the workplace has always made good business sense. Research has shown that businesses that support nursing mothers at work have seen a return of $3 for every $1 invested, increased employee recruitment, retention and productivity, and reduced absenteeism and health care costs.
Despite the fact that supporting nonexempt, nursing mothers at work is now law, and that doing so has health and business benefits, the workplace remains a critical barrier to successful breastfeeding for several reasons. First, many people do not know about the law—according to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling, 57 percent of people surveyed are not aware of the federal lactation provision. Second, many low-wage workers face challenges including inflexible work schedules, a lack of sanitary facilities to pump milk at work and unsupportive managers.
Stephen M. Wing, President of Corporate Voices, said, “Employers that recognize the business benefits of breastfeeding play a critical role in promoting economic self-sufficiency among lower-wage working families—especially vital during these tough economic times. But along with recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding, employers need resources and tools to implement successful lactation programs, which is why we have rereleased our lactation toolkit.”
More than 50 percent of the American workforce is composed of hourly workers, and they are one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the retail, service and other lower-wage industries. As such, they are the backbone of many industries on which our economic prosperity and future competitiveness depend.
Corporate Voices also believes that there is still much to be done to make tools and resources available to employers to help them implement successful lactation programs. Making high-quality tools, like Corporate Voices' workplace lactation toolkit, widely available to the business community is a critical step in removing another significant barrier to breastfeeding for many mothers.
Corporate Voices plans to engage in a targeted outreach effort to raise awareness among the employer, health professional, advocacy, nonprofit and WIC communities to let them know about this toolkit and the resources and tools available to employers to help them support nursing mothers at work.
Corporate Voices’ workplace lactation toolkit was produced in partnership with Working Mother Media and was made possible with generous support from Abbott.
About Corporate Voices for Working Families
Corporate Voices for Working Families is the leading national business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, we create and advance innovative policy solutions that reflect a commonality of interests among the private sector both global and domestic, government and other stakeholders.
We are a unique voice, and we provide leading and best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy and enhancing the vitality of our communities.
Publications, research studies and toolkits on a host of workforce readiness, workplace flexibility, family economic stability and work and family balance issues are available online at http://www.corporatevoices.org.