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If an employee is covered under both Colorado and federal laws, then the employer must follow the law which provides the greater protection to employees.
An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy.
Reasonable efforts means any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.
Undue hardship means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, the financial resources of the business, or the nature and structure of its operation, including consideration of the special circumstances of public safety.
Colorado law applies to all public and private employers employing one or more employees in the state.
Before an employee may seek litigation for a violation of this section, there shall be nonbinding mediation between the employer and the employee. Persons inquiring may need to contact an attorney for legal advice.
Only employees who are not exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are entitled to breaks to express milk.
An employer that employs less than 50 employees may not be subject to the FLSA break time requirements, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer's business.
Persons inquiring about federal break time requirements should contact the U.S. Department of at 720-264-3250.
The following links contain information on how to make workplace accommodations for nursing mothers, creating lactation support programs, how employers can benefit, and support for breastfeeding policies.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act makes it a discriminatory or unfair employment practice if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations to an applicant or employee who is pregnant, physically recovering from childbirth, or a related condition. Under the Act, if an applicant or employee who is pregnant or has a condition related to pregnancy or childbirth requests an accommodation, an employer must engage in the interactive process with the applicant or employee and provide a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the applicant or employee’s job unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business.
For more information, contact the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act, §8-13.5-101 C.R.S.Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 420729 U.S.C. 207(r)(1) (Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision)Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers HB 16-1438
Colorado Breastfeeding CoalitionLa Leche League of ColoradoColorado Department of Public Health and Environment Information for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)American Academy of Pediatrics9to5, National Association of Working WomenUnited States Breastfeeding CommitteeColorado Civil Rights Division
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