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BILL AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE 2007-2008

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H.641

AN ACT RELATING TO NURSING MOTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  21 V.S.A. § 302 is amended to read:

§ 302.  Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1)  “Employer” as used in this subchapter shall mean and include an individual, a partnership, an association, a corporation, a legal representative, trustee, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, and any common carrier by rail, motor, water, air or express company doing business in or operating within the state.  means any individual, organization, or governmental body, including any partnership, association, trustee, estate, corporation, joint stock company, insurance company, or legal representative, whether domestic or foreign, or the receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, trustee or successor thereof, and any common carrier by mail, motor, water, air, or express company doing business in or operating within this state, and any agent of the employer, that has one or more individuals performing services for it within this state.

(2)  “Employee” shall mean and include every person who may be permitted, required or directed by any employer, as defined in this section in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment.  means every person who may be permitted, required, or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to perform services.

Sec. 2.  21 V.S.A. § 305 is added to read:

§ 305.  NURSING MOTHERS IN THE WORKPLACE

(a)  For an employee who is a nursing mother, the employer shall for three years after the birth of a child:

(1)  provide reasonable time, either compensated or uncompensated, throughout the day to express breast milk for her nursing child.  The decision to provide compensated time shall be in the sole discretion of the employer, unless modified by a collective bargaining agreement; and

(2)  make a reasonable accommodation to provide appropriate private space that is not a bathroom stall.

(b)  An employer may be exempted from the provisions of subsection (a) of this section if providing time or an appropriate private space for expressing breast milk would substantially disrupt the employer’s operations.

(c)  An employer shall not retaliate or discriminate against an employee who exercises the right provided under this section. 

(d)  In lieu of an enforcement action through the Vermont Judicial Bureau, the attorney general or a state’s attorney may enforce the provisions of this section by bringing a civil action for temporary or permanent injunctive relief, economic damages, including prospective lost wages for a period not to exceed one year, investigative and court costs.  The attorney general or a state’s attorney may conduct an investigation of an alleged violation and enter into a settlement agreement with the employer.  Such investigation shall not be a prerequisite to bringing a court action.

Sec. 3.  21 V.S.A. § 303 is amended to read:

§ 303. PENALTY; JUDICIAL BUREAU

Any employer who violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be fined assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for each and every violation.

Sec. 4.  4 V.S.A. § 1102 is amended to read:

§ 1102. JUDICIAL BUREAU; JURISDICTION

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(b) The judicial bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(14)  Violations of 21 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 1, relating to conditions for employment.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us