Home Back Issues March 2008 Companies address breastfeeding needs

Companies address breastfeeding needs

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008

WKBreastfeeding.jpg Wieden+Kennedy’s private breastfeeding room at its offices in downtown Portland.

STATEWIDE In the few months since Oregon’s workplace breastfeeding law arrived, some companies have been acting to comply with requirements to provide private space and time for new moms who need to pump breast milk at work, while others with existing support are kicking it up a notch.

It took years for workplace breastfeeding protection to win enough support from business to pass through the state Legislature. Now that it’s here, lobbyists, breastfeeding advocates and companies say it will help nursing mothers without putting undue burden on industry.

The law, which took effect Jan. 1, requires Oregon employers to make a private area available for working mothers to express breast milk and 30 minutes of unpaid time off for every four hours worked to do it. It’s part of a wave of family-friendly workplace initiatives that has seen similar laws pass in a total of 14 states, with bills pending in 12 others.

Oregon’s workplace breastfeeding bill was introduced in 2001 but didn’t get far due to opposition from business groups for placing too many requirements on small business. It ultimately earned their approval after being reworked to exempt companies with fewer than 25 employees, which account for about 90% of Oregon businesses, according to the Alliance of Oregon Industries. Also exempt are business owners who can prove complying with the law would create an undue or financial hardship.

The Oregon companies that must comply represent 70% of the state’s workers. Some of them are carving mothers’ rooms out of offices or other space. Cascade Healthcare Community has created a mothers’ room at its hospitals in Bend and Prineville and two other facilities, and is creating such a room at its Redmond hospital. LaCrosse Footwear, the Portland work-boot manufacturer, is putting a mothers’ room in a former office, with a locking door, window shade, upholstered chair and table.

Many companies are long-time supporters of employees’ nursing needs, such as Wieden+Kennedy, which built a private breastfeeding room within its women’s locker room eight years ago when it moved to the Pearl district in Portland.

New Seasons Market, the natural foods chain with nine stores and 1,800 employees in the Portland metro area, has long provided employees with a private space to nurse, offered breastfeeding classes and hosted the website for the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon, a breastfeeding advocacy group. It’s now working to rent breast pumps from the group for employees to use at work, and is underwriting the group’s telephone and Yellow Page ad expenses. “We felt it was so important that moms who needed help be able to call someone for information on how to take care of their baby,” says spokeswoman Claudia Knotek.

MICHELLE V. RAFTER



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

Small business sales go big

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.

BTNMarch14 tableBTNMarch14 line


BTNMarch14 piePDXBTNMarch14 pieUSA


Read more...

Fuel's gold

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue. 


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Branching out

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
DSC04185BY LINDA BAKER

A blueberry bush is a blueberry bush — except when it’s a blueberry tree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS