Rhode Island

Rhode Island has laws regarding breastfeeding clarifying that breastfeeding in public is not a violation of the criminal statutes, providing workplace policies for breastfeeding mothers.  Moreover, Rhode Island law provides for notices to consumers regarding mercury alert notices.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-45-1
11-45-1. Disorderly conduct. — (a) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly…
   (e) In no event shall the provisions of this section be construed to apply to breastfeeding in public

R. I. Gen. Laws § 23-13.2-1 Workplace policies protecting a woman’s choice to breastfeed. – (a) An employer may provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to breastfeed or express breast milk for her infant child to maintain milk supply and comfort. The break time must, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide break time under this section if to do so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

   (b) An employer shall make a reasonable effort to provide a private, secure and sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk or breastfeed her child.

   (c) The department of health shall issue periodic reports on breastfeeding rates, complaints received and benefits reported by both working breastfeeding mothers and employers.

   (d) As used in this section: “employer” means a person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state and any political subdivision of the state; “employee” means any person engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer; “reasonable efforts” means any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business; and “undue hardship” means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, its financial resources and the nature and structure of its operation.

R.I. Gen. Law § 23-72-3  Consumer mercury alert notice. – (a) The department, in consultation with the department of environmental management, shall prepare a consumer’s mercury alert notice that the department shall provide for free, to professional medical offices that provide gynecological, obstetrical or pediatric care and in the patient or client areas of all maternal and child health and nutrition programs, who shall post the notice in all patient areas.

      (c) The notice shall explain the danger to women who expect to become pregnant, women who are pregnant or breast feeding their children, and young children of eating mercury contaminated fish…. (portion omitted.)


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