Policy Summary

Allows city employees who qualify under federal law for unpaid breaks to express breast milk to take these breaks without having to take leave or a pay deduction, so long as the breaks are of reasonable length and frequency.

Background Information

State Washington
Jurisdiction Name Seattle
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 200,000-800,000
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
  • Expressly allows something
Reach Limited scope
Only applicable to city employees.
Food System Category Get;
Evidence for Health

This policy may correspond to diet-related strategies identified by the County Health Rankings’ What Works for Health tool, including:

For research on the potential effectiveness, please review the category links above.

We understand that this information is not comprehensive. It also does not include other important forms of evidence such as community members’ lived experiences and practice-based evidence.

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Ordinance focuses on women and infants (see WHEREAS clauses, and section 1).

Health-related goal?

Refers to medical benefits of breastfeeding and support for it by national and global public health organizations (see WHEREAS clauses).

Environmental goal?

Economic goal?

Refers to breastfeeding as providing "economic relief" to families (first WHEREAS clause).

Includes findings?

WHEREAS clauses describe the health and economic benefits of breastfeeding to women and children, and the city's desire to help its employees and their families.

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Although not labeled "intent" or "purpose," the ordinance includes this heading "AN ORDINANCE relating to City employment; amending Seattle Municipal Code Section 4.34.055 to provide eligible employees breaks to express breast milk without deduction of pay or paid leave balances" and this phrase "WHEREAS, the City of Seattle seeks to support its employees and their families."

Includes definitions?

Addresses implementation?

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Uncodified ordinance amending city law. Ordinance is codified at Seattle, Wash., Code §4.34.055(G) (current through Jan. 25, 2018).


Help us improve this site!

Help us improve this website by taking a quick two-minute survey.