Pregnancy and/or Lactation Accommodations
Consistent with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), ECU provides reasonable accommodations to employees with known limitations related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the university an “undue hardship.”
These reasonable accommodations may include changes to the work environment or the way things are usually done at work to assist pregnant workers. Some examples of possible reasonable accommodations may include the ability to sit or drink water; having flexible hours; receiving appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel; receiving additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest; and being excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to compounds not safe for pregnancy. The University will review requests to provide reasonable accommodations and determine whether the request will cause an “undue hardship” on the university’s operations.
In addition to pregnancy accommodations, ECU also provides support and accommodations for lactation. Returning to work or school after birth may be challenging for many new mothers. In accordance with federal and state law, the Lactation Support Regulation provides space, privacy, and time for nursing mothers to express breast milk for up to one (1) year after the birth of a child.
ECU has designated lactation rooms conveniently located across our campuses. Each room provides the essentials for a pumping mother: comfortable seating, privacy, and convenient electrical outlets. Some rooms offer amenities such as electric breast pumps (also available to check out via breast pump loan program described below), sink, or refrigerator, but tubing to use the breast pump must be provided by the user. To view a list of available rooms across campus, click here.
For additional information about the accommodation process, refer to the Lactation Support Regulation or view the Lactation Accommodations for Employees handout. For questions, contact the HR Benefits Office at 252-328-9887.
Requesting Pregnancy and/or Lactation Accommodations
The Request for Pregnancy and/or Lactation Accommodations form should be completed by all employees seeking accommodation. The information provided in this form will allow the University to assess the request and impact on the university’s business operations, as well as plan and make every reasonable effort to identify an appropriate lactation space for up to one year after the birth of a child. This form should be submitted to the HR Benefits Office online at least fourteen (14) business days prior to the need for accommodations. To submit a request for accommodation, please complete the form below.
Breast Pump Loan Program
ECU is proud to offer a breast pump loan program for mothers when they return to the workplace in order to support nursing mothers. These breast pumps are available for loan to mothers from the time they return to work up to one (1) year after the birth of a child. Information regarding this process will be provided to expectant mothers when they receive Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) paperwork from their Benefits Counselor. When mother returns to work after the birth of their child, they will complete a breast pump loan agreement form and receive an electric breast pump, carrying backpack and cooler. Once the mother is no longer using the pump to express breast milk or one year has passed since the birth of the child, the pump is to be returned to ECU Human Resources.
Complaints or Concerns
The University provides internal procedures for the investigation and resolution of complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under the University’s policy, including discrimination or unlawful treatment on the basis of sex (including pregnancy and parental status).
If an employee believes that a determination regarding eligibility for a reasonable accommodation or provision of a reasonable accommodation has been reached improperly or unfairly, the employee may contact the Office of Equity and Diversity (252-328-6804 or OED@ecu.edu) to seek resolution or file a complaint.