EFFECTIVE DATE: February 15, 2021
ISSUE #: 2
PRESIDENT: Antonio D. Tillis (Interim)
The University of Houston-Downtown is committed to supporting University employees who
are lactating and who choose to express milk during work hours. The purpose of this policy is
to provide information on University lactation policy and locations.
2.1 Lactation – For the purposes of this policy, lactation refers to the act of expressing
breast milk. Although the university recognizes and supports women’s right to
breastfeed in any location in which she is authorized to be pursuant to Texas Health and
Safety Code, Section 165.002, this policy only applies to the limited situation where an
employee is manually or mechanically expressing milk.
2.2 Lactation Location – A space temporarily converted or permanently created (and
designated) into a space for expressing milk or made available, when needed, for an
employee who is nursing. The location must be shielded from view and free from any
intrusion by coworkers and the public.
UHD provides appropriate locations and reasonable break time for expressing milk to
accommodate employees who are nursing mothers for a period of up to one (1) calendar year
after the birth of the nursing child, pursuant to Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Exceptions beyond one year should be discussed in advance with the supervisor and the
3.1 Lactation Break(s)
3.1.1 Ideally, the time will run concurrently with an employee’s paid break time. The
University will make separate or additional time available if it is not possible for
the lactation time to run concurrently with the employee’s existing paid break
time, but the additional break time may be unpaid.
Note: Alternatively, personal leave, vacation time, intermittent Family and
Medical Leave, or flexible scheduling may be used for this accommodation.
3.1.2 Supervisors are encouraged to support flexible work schedules to accommodate
an employee’s needs associated with milk expression. Assuming the department does not allow paid breaks, an example of a flexible schedule adjustment might
include taking a 15-minute break in the morning and in the afternoon and a 30-minute lunch break; or by arriving fifteen minutes early to work and leaving
fifteen minutes late. An example for a department that does allow two paid
breaks of 15 minutes per day, a flexible schedule might be used to account for
additional breaks an employee may need for milk expression beyond the
standard amount of paid break time.
3.1.3 It is assumed that University operations will not be seriously disrupted by
providing lactation time to the employee.
3.1.4 Faculty members must schedule their lactation breaks around their scheduled
3.2 Lactation Locations
3.2.1 The University is committed to providing appropriate and accessible space for
the employee to express milk in private.
3.2.2 The location may be where the employee normally works if there is adequate
privacy to perform the activity (i.e., the employee’s private office or another
private area in the workspace).
3.2.3 Areas such as restrooms or non-private cubicles are not considered appropriate
spaces for lactation purposes.
3.2.4 The University has a designated lactation room in the Student Health Services
office, Suite S445, that is available during normal business hours, Monday
through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours access may be arranged by
contacting the UHD Police Department. For the Marilyn Davies College of
Business building, employees can make online reservations for the Business
Study Rooms, Room B243. For the College of Public Service building,
employees can reserve room C444 during normal business hours (7:30 a.m. -
4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday)) by calling 713-221-5091 or 713-221-8906.
3.2.5 When necessary, appropriate space may be temporarily designated as a
Lactation Location for the required time period. If business operations preclude
the full-time designation of a Lactation Location, then the Lactation Location
may be designated and appropriately marked only during the times when it is in
use for lactation purposes. Standard lactation room signage will be used in this
3.3 Expectations of Supervisor(s) and Accommodated Lactation Employee(s)
a. Supervisors shall ensure accommodations are administered consistently,
equitably, and fairly.
b. Supervisors shall ensure that regulations, rules, and coverage requirements
are communicated in writing to lactation-requesting employees.
c. Supervisors shall approve requests for lactation accommodations, including
flex and/or altered schedules, in writing. In addition, supervisors shall
respond to lactation accommodation requests promptly and ensure that
lactation-requesting employees do not suffer negative consequences as a
result of the lactation request.
d. Supervisors shall be flexible in allowing requesting employees to select
appropriate times to use an identified Lactation Location on campus,
including allowing the employee with the time to travel to and from the
closest Lactation Location to the employee’s work area.
a. Employees shall plan and organize their time to meet the job responsibilities
established by their supervisor.
b. Communicate with the supervisor regarding scheduling or other needs as far
in advance as possible if planning to express breast milk while at work.
c. Employees shall provide a written request for a flex and/or altered schedule.
d. Employees are still expected to complete the required number of hours in a
workweek, unless otherwise agreed to by their supervisor or arranged by the
e. Employees shall inform their supervisor in writing if a change of schedule is
required and find substitute coverage (as needed) that is acceptable to the
3.4 To the extent allowed by federal and state law and University policy, Lactation
Accommodation Requests will be handled confidentially. Only individuals with a
business “need to know” will be made aware of a Lactation Accommodation Request
and the resulting accommodation arrangements, if any.
3.5 If an employee has comments, concerns, or questions regarding this procedure, s/he
shall contact her/his supervisor or ESO’s Benefits Department at email@example.com.
Employees who feel they have been denied proper and appropriate lactation
accommodation or who feel they are being retaliated against because of a request for lactation accommodation are encouraged to contact ESO Employee Relations at
4.1 Employees are responsible for requesting a lactation accommodation in writing prior to
or during maternity leave, preferably no later than two (2) weeks before returning to
work. Lactation Accommodation Request forms are available from Employment
Services and Operations (ESO).
4.2 Supervisors receiving a Lactation Accommodation Request shall:
4.2.1 Consult with the requesting employee and, if desired, the ESO Benefits
Department to assess the request and accommodation options for a Lactation
4.2.2 Review available space in the department/division and provide the requesting
employee with information about the Lactation Location.
4.2.3 Provide the requesting employee with written confirmation as to final lactation
4.2.4 Return the completed form to ESO.
4.3 Refusing or Amending a Lactation Accommodation Request
4.3.1 A supervisor cannot refuse to grant a Lactation Accommodation Request unless
s/he can establish, in writing, that operations would be seriously disrupted by
providing lactation time to the applicable employee in accordance with
4.3.2 Any intent to refuse lactation accommodation to an applicable employee by a
department head or supervisor must be made on a case-by-case basis and only
after consultation with the ESO Benefits Department.
4.3.3 A supervisor may only amend a Lactation Accommodation Request after
consultation with ESO Benefits Department and upon a demonstration of good
cause, as determined by the ESO Benefits Department.
4.4 Employees accommodated under this policy are responsible for cleaning the Lactation
Location facilities after each use.
There are no exhibits associated with this policy.
Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Employment Services and Operations
Review: Every three years on or before August 1
Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.
Issue #1: 09/03/15
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 207(r)(1)
Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 165
Texas Government Code Sec. § 619.004
Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act
Lactation Accommodation Request Form