Subject: Personnel, Student Affairs

Policy:  Breastfeeding Policy

Revised:  April 4, 2012;  October 2, 2019

Effective Date:  May 1, 2008  

Review Date: October 2, 2022   

Responsible Party: University Human Resources, University Family Advocate

1. Introduction and Purpose

Montana State University recognizes the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both parents and their infants and seeks to promote a family-friendly environment in which to work and study.

In accordance with Section 39-2-215 to 217, Montana Code Annotated, the university supports and encourages the practice of breastfeeding, accommodates breastfeeding needs of its employees and students, and provides facilities for breastfeeding or the expression of milk as provided below.

2. Employee Breaks Provided

MSU provides reasonable break time each day for employees who need to express breast milk for their children. The break time for breastfeeding will run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. See, Section 39-2-217, MCA.

3. Family Care Rooms 

  1. In accordance with Montana law [Section 50-19-501, MCA), a parent may breastfeed a child in any place open to the public on campus or any place the parent is otherwise authorized to be, and that this cannot be considered a nuisance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, or obscenity.\

  2. The university provides Family Care Rooms equipped for breastfeeding/breast pumping on campus to accommodate breastfeeding.

  3. The University has designated a 45-minute parking space adjacent to Hamilton Hall, specifically for nursing parents to use while breastfeeding/breast pumping.

  4. The University Family Advocate is responsible for overseeing the Family Care Room and providing parking passes to eligible users.

4. Discrimination Prohibited

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice to refuse to hire or employ or to discharge an employee because the employee expresses milk in the workplace or to discriminate against an employee who expresses milk in the workplace.

5. Procedures

  1. Supervisors are encouraged to provide information about breastfeeding policies and accommodations when an employee first discusses leave needs and plans for returning to work. Supervisors may consult with and/or refer the employee to the University Family Advocate for additional information. 
  2. Any employee who wishes to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace shall make a request to the supervisor. 
  3. The supervisor shall be responsible for identifying space suitable for such use, including providing privacy, lighting, and electricity needs. Private space does not need to be fully enclosed or permanent but must be readily available during the time the employee needs the space. Toilet stalls and utility closets are not suitable spaces for such purpose. 
  4. The supervisor shall assure that there is a convenient facility for milk storage.