A few weeks ago the Tom Stemberg, co-founder and former CEO of Staples made some remarks in the press about the new workplace pumping law.
Stemberg had used it as an example of what he found over-reaching about the federal health care reform law, criticizing it for requiring "lactation chambers" for nursing employees.
(And while I make it a rule never to read comments left on blogs which aren't breastfeeding-friendly, some of the comments on the story on wonkette.com absolutely cracked me up. My favorite: "My next lactation chamber will certainly not be purchased from Staples, you screwed up there Stemberg!" Read them if you get a chance.)
Last week the authors of the provision wrote in response, stating in part:
These federal requirements are modeled after a state law in Oregon that requires employers, including Staples, to make similar accommodations for their employees. The Oregon law provides a hardship exemption for businesses that cannot find a way to establish a specific place for mothers to express milk.
It is interesting to note, however, that not a single Oregon business, including Staples, has chosen to take that exemption. All have found a way to make this work for their nursing mother employees.
You can read the full text here.