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New Illinois Laws Support Student Hygiene and Lactation Rights


By Naomi Millán Plumbing & Restrooms

Among 40 new laws going into effect in Illinois in 2018, two will be of particular interest to facility managers in the state’s schools. These are Illinois House Bills 2369 and 3215, both of which passed in 2017 and became effective as of Jan. 1, 2018.

Under House Bill 2369, public schools, including charter schools, must provide lactation space for mothers on campus, including students. Similar to other lactation policies, nursing mothers must have access to a private and secure space other than a restroom for pumping or nursing. Nursing mothers are allowed to bring their pumping supplies to campus and must have access to a place to plug their pump in, as well as a place to safely store their milk.

The Learn with Dignity Act (House Bill 3215) requires schools with students in grades 6 through 12 to freely provide tampons and pads in student bathrooms. Without ready access to these hygiene products, students may miss several days of education a month, according to language in the bill. This bill affects both public and charter schools.

National manufacturers already have products available, such as free hygiene product dispensers and standalone nursing booths, to help facilities accommodate the needs of their occupants and comply with legislation such as mentioned here as it becomes more common across the nation.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor, Building Operating Management. In addition to providing lactation space, and easy access to hygiene products, providing equal access to baby changing facilities is another area facility managers will want to keep in mind.

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