AUGUSTA — A bill to protect nursing moms in Maine won a 90-52 vote of approval in the House and now faces a Senate vote.

The measure would make an employer’s failure to provide accommodations for a nursing employee unlawful employment discrimination under the Maine Human Rights Act.

State law now requires employers to grant nursing workers unpaid break time and a clean location, other than a bathroom, to express milk in private. The Judiciary Committee’s House chairman, Rep. Charles Priest of Brunswick, says the panel heard from women whose testimony showed that current state law is insufficient.

Priest, a Democrat, says current penalties are toothless and do nothing to help women who need to express milk at work.

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