Austin-based SpareFoot has joined more than 2,600 worksites across Texas by becoming an official Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite. Mother-Friendly employers proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants by providing time, space, and other supports to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work.
Of the total designations across the state, only about six percent are Silver, with only about three percent of the total designations in Austin at the Silver level. There are 529 businesses in Austin with a Mother-Friendly Worksite Designation, making up 20 percent of the total designations across the state –– and 17 of those are Silver.
In order for a business to qualify for the basic designation, they must offer the following:
- Flexible work schedules including scheduling breaks to provide time for milk expression
- Access to a private location that is not a bathroom for milk expression
- Access to a nearby sink for washing hands and rinsing equipment
- Access to hygienic storage options to safely store breast milk
- Communication of policy to employees
SpareFoot met the Silver requirements by:
- Including the following in the policy (at least one of a longer list was required):
-Part-time work or working some hours from home
-Individualized scheduling of work hours
-Payment for milk expression breaks
- Creating a private room with a locking door for use only by employees who are breastfeeding
- Providing the following amenities (at least one of a longer list was required):
-A sink with hot and cold running water, soap and hand towels
-A refrigerator for the storage of breast milk
- Distribution of the lactation policy to all employees and supervisors within six months of employment and at least annually thereafter
- Making following resources available to expectant employees and their partners (at least three of a longer list was required):
-A lending library of breastfeeding pamphlets, books and/or videos
-Contact information for local lactation consultants, support group meetings and other resources
-An online forum for mother-to-mother support among employees
“We know that juggling work and caring for an infant can be tough, and we want to support our new mothers and their families in meeting their breastfeeding goals,” said Chuck Gordon, CEO and co-founder of SpareFoot.com. “We are extremely pleased to be part of the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite program.”
SpareFoot’s parental leave policy includes up to 12 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave. The company also delivers a daily meal, prepared by the company’s in-house chef for one week after delivery or adoption. In addition, anyone who has a baby or adopts a child will receive one month of free laundry service.
About the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1995 and administered by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program recognizes employers with written policies reflecting their support for their breastfeeding employees. An online application and listing of Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites are available on the program’s website, http://texasmotherfriendly.org.
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