On December 7, 2020, Senator Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, filed SB 196 which is FAWL’s first proposed legislation. FAWL will be championing this lactation room bill during the upcoming 2021 Florida legislative session.

“Women should not have to choose between their careers and their families. By providing them a safe space for their lactation needs, they won’t have too,” Florida Association for Women Lawyers President Kimberly Hosley said. “Additionally, this allows nursing mothers the opportunity to participate in the judicial process by serving on juries without concern for how it could impact their family choices. This is the right thing to do for the women of this state.”

The bill will require that each Florida courthouse has a dedicated lactation room, meaning a private, clean, and accessible space to nurse or pump breastmilk, for attorneys, jurors, courthouse staff and courthouse patrons. By providing breastfeeding mothers a clean and safe space, lactation rooms remove a barrier for women returning to the workplace.

The bill was filed recently by Senator Lori Berman, who calls the legislation an investment in the health and welfare of Florida’s working families that recognizes the health, economic impact and contribution of working mothers.

“As a longtime supporter of legislation that supports women, children, and families, I am proud to be the Senate sponsor of this common-sense legislation,” said Senator Berman.

The proposed lactation room legislation is in line with recent federal legislation. In July 2019, congress passed the Federal Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2019 (H.R.866), which requires federal buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom to provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by members of the public who are breastfeeding. Lactation rooms are also required in large and medium size airports. There are also lactation rooms currently in the state capitol.

If you would like to volunteer to help the FAWL Legislative Committee make calls to legislators as the bill goes through committees send an email to admin@fawl.org.