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July 13, 2001

Governor Ryan Signs Nursing Mothers Bill

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed Senate Bill 542, creating the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act. The legislation requires an employer to provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child, unless it would unduly disrupt the employer's operation.

"A working mother needs private time during the day to ensure that her baby will be properly nourished. This will improve the health of young children, and employers should do their part to encourage mothers to provide it if they are able," Gov. Ryan said.

The bill requires the employer to make reasonable efforts to provide a room in close proximity to the work area, where the employee can express her milk in privacy.

SB 542 was sponsored by Representatives Judy Erwin, D-Chicago; Andrea Moore, R-Libertyville; Barbara Flynn Currie, D- Chicago; Dale Righter, R-Mattoon and Senators Margaret Smith, D-Chicago; Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete; Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, Lisa Madigan, D-Chicago; and Carol Ronen, D-Chicago.


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