On May 4, 2018 Executive Decree No. 41080 came into force which established minimum conditions that must be adopted by every employer to set up lactation rooms in the workplace.

Obligations: Every company – be it public or private sector – that has at least 30 women employees, must provide lactation rooms in the workplace in accordance with the following conditions.

Requirements to be met by companies:

  • The lactation room must be of a minimum physical space of 6square meters with a height of 2.4 meters.
  • Refrigerator (for exclusive use for breast milk) of at least 38 liter capacity;
  • Furniture and specific chairs; screens and/or curtains with pre-established dimensions that guarantee privacy.
  • Sink, with liquid soap dispenser and paper towels (may be located at a distance of no more than 20 meters from the room.) A trash can with lid and plastic trash bags.
  • Systems that ensure air renewal.
  • Natural and / or artificial lighting that guarantees an adequate lighting.
  • Plan for cleaning the infrastructure, equipment and furniture, executed by the personnel in charge of cleaning the establishment.
  • Non-slip floor material and specific conditions.
  • Compliance with the accessibility provisions of Law No. 7600.

Penalties: The conditions indicated above must be fulfilled within a maximum period of 12 months or no later than May 4 of the two thousand 2019. After this deadline and in a breach by the employer, the labor courts may sanction the employer with fines ranging from 1 to 23 salaries of clerk 1. As a reference, a salary of clerk 1 in accordance with the Ordinary Budget Act of the Republic is ¢ 323,028.33 colones (approximately US $565).

Entry into Force: This decree entered into force on May 4,2018, so all employers have until May 5, 2019 to implement the conditions described above in their work centers.

Therefore, it is important for all companies that comply with these requirements to catch up to avoid future legal problems.

Adriana Umaña Harvey
Junior Lawyer
Cordero & Cordero Abogados

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