July 1, 2020, Richmond, VA - “Virginia Values Act,” went into effect and expanded Virginia’s Human Rights Act (“VHRA”). Now, breastfeeding employees are protected from discrimination. Thanks to new laws passed in 2020, Virginia employers with five or more employees can’t discriminate on the “basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including lactation.” Which means that employers cannot refuse “reasonable accommodations” of break time and a lactation space (that’s not a bathroom) for breastfeeding employees to pump at work. Virginia law also protects breastfeeding teachers and students by directing all school boards to provide “breaks of reasonable length” and a private space (other than a bathroom) to pump at school for up to one year. Read the laws: House Bill 827/Senate Bill 712 and Va. Code § 22.1-79.5 (2014).
April 12, 2020, Richmond, VA - Pregnant Worker Accommodation Bill Signed Into Law. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law House Bill 827 and Senate Bill 712. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and childbirth; and creates a private cause of action for workplace pregnancy discrimination.
February 4, 2020, Norfolk, VA - Norfolk Naval Shipyard Wins Silver Rating for Nursing Mother-Friendly Workplace. Naval Sea Systems Command.
August 1, 2019, Richmond, VA - Governor Northam Announces August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
June 5, 2019, Richmond, VA - Governor Northam Announces Goal to Eliminate Racial Disparity in Virginia Maternal Mortality Rate by 2025
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a goal to eliminate the racial disparity in the maternal mortality rate in Virginia by 2025. In Virginia, the maternal mortality rate for black women is over two times as high as white women, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Governor Northam outlined the goal during a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 2546, which codifies the Maternal Mortality Review Team in Virginia, and House Bill 2613, which adds perinatal anxiety to the list of information providers must give patients.
July 2018, Richmond, VA -- Nurture Receives a $60K Breastfeeding Grant
Nurture is pleased to announce that we have received a two-year, $60,000 Healthy Communities Action Team grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. The grant will support the work of #RVAbreastfeeds, a coalition that seeks to reduce childhood obesity through policy, infrastructure, and environmental changes that promote a breastfeeding friendly community.
January 2016, Richmond, VA -- Breastfeeding Lobby Day – Virginia General Assembly
Join VA Alliance for Breastfeeding Laws and fellow breastfeeding supporters for a day of breastfeeding advocacy at the Virginia General Assembly on January 18, 2016. This session, two breastfeeding-related bills will be introduced. One increases workplace anti-discrimination protections for pregnant and lactating women, and the other increases workplace pumping protections.
July 2015, Richmond, VA -- NEW RIGHT TO BREASTFEED LAW GOES INTO EFFECT IN VIRGINIA
Up until July 1st, 2015 Virginia was one of two states (Idaho is the remaining) that did not have a law stating that a breastfeeding mother is free to feed her baby wherever she is lawfully present. Thanks to hardworking advocates the law was passed after a number of discrimination incidents across Northern Virginia and around the state.
July 2015, Richmond, VA -- 'Nurse-out' at Maymont to celebrate breastfeeding law
Moms in Virginia no longer need to find a bathroom if they'd like to breastfeed. Starting Wednesday, it's legal to breastfeed in public across the state. To celebrate the change, a nurse-out will be underway in just a few hours. Crowds of moms, babies and breastfeeding supporters will be having lunch at Maymont.
April 3, 2015, Richmond, VA -- Know Your Rights: Breastfeeding At Work And On The Go
Currently, some—but not all—nursing mothers have additional rights to pump breast milk at work. Virginia employees eligible to receive overtime pay (e.g., hourly employees) are covered by the Nursing Mothers Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under this provision, Virginia employers must provide nursing mothers with (1) reasonable break time to pump breast milk for a nursing child for one year after the child’s birth; and (2) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used to pump breast milk. Unfortunately, if you are not eligible to receive overtime (e.g., you are paid the same amount each week no matter how many hours you work), your employer does not have to provide these—or any other—accommodations.
February 2015, Richmond, VA -- Virginia Finally Passes Bill That Will Protect Mothers’ Rights To Breastfeed In Public
After a new bill passed in both the state Senate and House of Delegates this month, Virginia is set to become the 48th state that legally protects mothers’ rights to breastfeed in public, wherever and whenever they choose.
October 2014, Richmond, VA -- Breastfeeding License Plates Could Provide A New Way To Support Nursing Moms
From photo projects to nurse-ins, people work to support and empower breastfeeding moms in many ways. But the Virginia Breastfeeding Task Force’s potential new initiative might be a first. The Virginia nonprofit has designed a breastfeeding-themed specialty license plate and is trying to gauge interest in the product. The plate features the international symbol for breastfeeding, along with the phrase “Building Bonds for Life.”
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