Florida courthouses now family-friendly with new lactation space law

Florida courthouses now family-friendly with new lactation space law

Sen. Lori Berman

A law requiring public lactation spaces in Florida courthouses, long championed by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, took effect January 1.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 144 last session. It requires courthouses to provide private, clean spaces for nursing mothers to pump or breastfeed. The law exempts facilities that are unable to comply at a “reasonable cost” or require new construction.

FAWL has considered the mandate a priority for years, arguing that the benefits extend beyond the legal community.

“Women across the state, both lawyers and non-lawyers, stand to benefit greatly from the passage of this legislation,” FAWL President Donna Eng said in a statement when the bill was filed. “It ensures that nursing mothers will finally be able to fully participate in judicial proceedings without having to sacrifice their privacy or personal family choices.”

Rep. Ashley Viola Gantt

Rep. Ashley Viola Gantt

Lawyer/lawmaker Lori Berman, a Boynton Beach Democrat, sponsored the bill.

“A private, safe, and hygienic space for women to breastfeed their baby should be available when needed,” Berman said at the time, adding that she was “honored to work with FAWL.”

Another lawyer/lawmaker sponsored the companion, Rep. Ashley Gantt, D-Miami.

Gantt said the measure benefits all of society by making it easier for women to continue their careers.

“Because we will have skilled people in our workforce who don’t have to choose between work and being a mother,” she said.

Originally published at https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/florida-courthouses-now-family-friendly-with-new-lactation-space-law/

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