The Lactation at Work Law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to mandate employer accommodation of employees’ breast milk expression. Interviews with employees, human resource specialists, and supervising managers in nine industries found that some organizations’ supervising managers, who initially perceived accommodations only as a legal mandate furthering managerial goals, over time changed to understanding lactation accommodations through a children’s-health lens that created morality-driven motivations for legal compliance–a “moralization of the law.” Educational discussions with lactating employees not only provided these supervising managers with insights into lactation at work, but also sensitized them to ethical issues surrounding lactation accommodations.


This is the accepted version of Hoffmann, Elizabeth A. 2022. “ Moralizing the law: Lactating workers and the transformation of supervising managers.” Law & Society Review 56( 1): 28– 52. https://doi.org/10.1111/lasr.12588

Date of this Version




Included in

Sociology Commons