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Allies Already Poised to Comply: How Social Proximity Affects Lactation at Work Law Compliance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Abstract

This study demonstrates how legal compliance may be better achieved when organizations include individuals who will advocate for newly codified rights and related accommodations. To understand compliance with a new law and the rights it confers, this article examines as its case study the Lactation at Work law, which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to mandate basic provisions for employees to express breast milk at work. In particular, this study interviewed those organizational actors who translate the law into the policies affecting workers' daily lives: supervising mangers and human resources personnel. Those studied in this article were “Allies Already:” friends or relatives of breastfeeding workers, or ones themselves, who held pro-breastfeeding values and understood the complexities of combining lactation and employment. They mobilized within their organization to comply with the law swiftly and fully—often even overcomplying. This article demonstrates how heightened compliance, particularly with new laws, may be achieved even without directly affected actors mobilizing their own rights if allies champion needed accommodations.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© 2019 Law and Society Association.

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