Breastfeeding in Public:
In 2004 the Oklahoma State Legislature passed House Bill 2102 which states “Mothers have the right to breastfeed anywhere they have a right to be, and shall be excused from jury duty upon request.”
Breastfeeding Friendly Business Decals are available for businesses to post at their entries to let families know that breastfeeding is welcome in their locations.
Breastfeeding at Work:
In 2006 the Oklahoma State Legislature passed House Bill 2358 which states “Breastfeeding mothers may use unpaid break and meal times to breastfeed or express breast milk at work. Employers are urged to provide a private area (other than a toilet stall) for this purpose.”
- This STATE law applies to all employed breastfeeding mothers.
- The law includes no enforcement provisions. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) provides information about the law (see below/right).
- COBA joins OSDH and the Preparing for a Lifetime Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative, and the Oklahoma Healthy Birth Alliance, in recognizing Oklahoma employers who meet Oklahoma Recognized Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites criteria.
In 2010 the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Provisions in Section 4207 amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to establish requirements for time and space for employees to express breast milk for one year after their child’s birth.
- This FEDERAL law applies to employees whose wages and hours are NOT exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, including most employees paid by the hour. It does not cover most salaried employees.
2020 saw the passage of 2 bills (SB285/SB1877) which required Oklahoma state agencies to provide breastfeeding employees paid break time to use a designated lactation room and that required all state owned public buildings to provide breastfeeding employees a hygienic place to express milk or breastfeed at work (other than a bathroom), shielded from view and free from intrusion, with a chair, working surface, and an electrical outlet.
In 2021 Oklahoma legislature passed SB121 which required each school district to provide lactating employees paid breaks and a private, secure and sanitary location (other than a toilet stall) to express milk or breastfeed their child. This bill helped close loopholes in the federal law.
The PUMP Act for Nursing Mothers was passed in late 2022. This federal legislation is intended to close all of the coverage gaps from the initial Break Time for Nursing Mothers legislation passed in 2010. It ensures that almost all working lactating persons have the ability to provide human milk for their infants and defines actions they can take against employers who do not comply with the law.
These wallet cards were developed through a partnership between COBA and OSDH. They summarize the laws and give contact information to promote the laws, as well as to get general breastfeeding help through the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline. Keep one on hand to politely let people know how Oklahoma supports breastfeeding families anywhere and any time! To order a professionally printed wallet card or a bulk supply of these cards, please complete the Breastfeeding Legislation Cards Order Form. The cards are also available as pdf files to download:
Contact the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH)
OSDH staff are available to help:
Have you visited a business that was breastfeeding friendly?
- Let us know and they will receive a thank you letter.
Have you been asked to leave a public place because you were breastfeeding?
- Tell us and we will send a letter with information about the current laws.
Does your employer support breastfeeding?
- Let us know if you would like them to receive a thank you letter and information about becoming a recognized Oklahoma Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.
Phone: (405) 426-8113