2006 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Banks
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO PROMULGATE RULES FOR CHILD CARE FACILITIES TO PROMOTE BREAST-FEEDING BY THE MOTHERS OF THE CHILDREN BEING CARED FOR; TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A BREAST-FEEDING MOTHER WHO USES HER LAWFUL BREAK TIME TO EXPRESS MILK; TO AMEND SECTION 43-20-8, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Department of Health shall promulgate regulations to ensure that licensed child care facilities shall be required to comply with the following:
(a) Breast-feeding mothers, including employees, shall be provided a private and sanitary place that is not a toilet stall to breast-feed their children or express milk. This area shall provide an electrical outlet, comfortable chair, and nearby access to running water.
(b) A refrigerator will be made available for storage of expressed breast milkfollowing guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control in ensuring that breast milk is properly treated to avoid waste. Universal precautions are not required in handling human milk.
(c) Staff shall be trained in the safe and proper storage and handling of human milk.
(d) Breast-feeding promotion information will be displayed in order to positively promote breast-feeding to the clients of the facility.
(e) Such other requirements as the Board of Health finds desirable or necessary to promote and protect breast-feeding.
SECTION 2. (1) No employer shall prohibit an employee from expressing breast milk during any meal period or other break period provided by the employer.
(2) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer to bar or discharge from employment, or withhold pay, demote or penalize a lactating employee because the employee breast-feeds or expresses milk at the workplace if the breast-feeding or expression does not interfere with the operation of the business or performance of the employee's job.
SECTION 3. Section 43-20-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-20-8. (1) The licensing agency shall have powers and duties as set forth below, in addition to other duties prescribed under this chapter:
(a) Promulgate rules and regulations concerning the licensing and regulation of child care facilities as defined in Section 43-20-5;
(b) Have the authority to issue, deny, suspend, revoke, restrict or otherwise take disciplinary action against licensees as provided for in this chapter;
(c) Set and collect fees and penalties as provided for in this chapter; and
(d) Have such other powers as may be required to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Child care facilities shall assure that parents have welcome access to the child care facility at all times and shall comply with the provisions of House Bill No.____ , 2006 Regular Session.
(3) Each child care facility shall develop and maintain a current list of contact persons for each child provided care by that facility. An agreement may be made between the child care facility and the child's parent, guardian or contact person at the time of registration to inform the parent, guardian or contact person if the child does not arrive at the facility within a reasonable time.
(4) Child care facilities shall require that, for any current or prospective caregiver, all criminal records, background and sex offender registry checks and current child abuse registry checks are obtained. In order to determine the applicant's suitability for employment, the applicant shall be fingerprinted. If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, the fingerprints shall be forwarded by the Department of Public Safety to the FBI for a national criminal history record check.
(5) The licensing agency shall require to be performed a criminal records background check and a child abuse registry check for all operators of a child care facility and any person living in a residence used for child care. The Department of Human Services shall have the authority to disclose to the State Department of Health any potential applicant whose name is listed on the Child Abuse Central Registry or has a pending administrative review. That information shall remain confidential by all parties. In order to determine the applicant's suitability for employment, the applicant shall be fingerprinted. If no disqualifying record is identified at the state level, the fingerprints shall be forwarded by the Department of Public Safety to the FBI for a national criminal history record check.
(6) The licensing agency shall have the authority to exclude a particular crime or crimes or a substantiated finding of child abuse and/or neglect as disqualifying individuals or entities for prospective or current employment or licensure.
(7) The licensing agency and its agents, officers, employees, attorneys and representatives shall not be held civilly liable for any findings, recommendations or actions taken under this section.
(8) All fees incurred in compliance with this section shall be borne by the child care facility. The licensing agency is authorized to charge a fee that includes the amount required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the national criminal history record check in compliance with the Child Protection Act of 1993, as amended, and any necessary costs incurred by the licensing agency for the handling and administration of the criminal history background checks.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.