First committed mother’s room for UVU employees now open

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Utah Valley University’s Human Resources department has dedicated a room in the Browning Administration building to be used as a mother’s room for nursing employees. The new room has a sink and two spaces; each space contains a table, a rocking chair and has a curtain for privacy. It is available to reserve between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. when staff is on campus to unlock the room.

Previously, employees could reserve a conference room in the HR department to use as a nursing room. The new room, which had been used as a storage room for academic affairs, is 200e in the BA and is the first full-time mother’s room on UVU’s campus. It is for employee use only.

“We really felt that we needed a dedicated spot for nursing mothers who work on campus (a nicer place),” said Irene Whittier, ADA Coordinator at UVU.

There are three rooms available for nursing students to reserve – 409K in the Losee Center, 209e in the Liberal Arts building, and 505 in the Computer Science building. Students need to call ahead to reserve a time, because each room doubles as a conference room for staff meetings.

None of Utah’s laws specifically address nursing students; Utah has two laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public, but do not require campuses to have a lactation policy. The Student Life and Wellness Center is planning a lactation room strictly for student mothers’ use. They are looking for a space to dedicate.

The accommodations were made by Mark Weisenberg, UVU associate vice president of human resources, to adhere to federal law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act to require all employers (with over 50 employees) to provide a private place for nursing employees to use. The Utah legislature passed a joint resolution in 2012 that also requires employers to provide a space.

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