Walle Legislation to Improve Workplace Policies for Nursing Mothers Passed by the House; Van de Putte Assisting in Senate
(Austin) — Today, House Bill 741 by State Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) was passed out of the Texas House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate for consideration. House Bill 741 requires public employers, including school districts, cities, counties and state agencies, to accommodate employees who need to express breast milk at the work place.
"As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, we must show the mothers in our lives that we value them. I'm proud that my colleagues have shown their support for working mothers by passing this legislation so that no mother has to choose between her job and breastfeeding her child," said Rep. Walle. "I am looking forward to working with Senator Leticia Van de Putte as this bill moves through the Texas Senate so that children, mothers, and public employers can benefit from the significant health and economic benefits of breastfeeding."
Under current law, working mothers who are hourly employees have federal protections in place for when they need to express breast milk at the workplace. However, salaried employees have no protections in state or federal law and House Bill 741 seeks to close this loophole.
"I am proud to help Rep. Walle move House Bill 741 through the Senate," said Senator Van de Putte. "All public employees should have their right to breastfeed protected, whether salaried or hourly. This bill makes sense for everyone involved, from the standpoint of both health and economics."
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers and organizations have rallied behind House Bill 741. Supporters include the Texas Home School Coalition, Texas Medical Association, Texas Pediatric Society, Texas Classroom Teachers Association, Texans Care for Children, Texas Breastfeeding Coalition, Texas AFL-CIO, Texas State Employees Union, Texas American Federation of Teachers, Texas State Teachers Association and the Workers Defense Project.
Rep. Armando Walle is serving his third term in the Texas House of Representatives and serves as Vice-Chair of the House Committee on Land & Resource Management and as a member of the House Committee on Business and Industry and the House Select Committee on Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility. He represents House District 140, which includes northern portions of unincorporated Harris County and the City of Houston.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte represents Senate District 26, which includes portions of central Bexar County and the City of San Antonio.