H. B. 2244
(By Delegates Perdue, Brown, Doyle, Palumbo,
Ellem, Long, Eldridge and Marshall)
[Introduced January 16, 2007; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated §16-1-19; and to
amend and reenact §52-1-8 of said code, all relating to public
health; promoting and facilitating the breastfeeding of
infants; recognizing employers who are mother/infant friendly;
protecting the right; clarifying conduct; requiring rules; and
providing that breastfeeding mothers may be excused from jury
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §16-1-19; and that
§52-1-8 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as
CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.
ARTICLE 1. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM.
§16-1-19. Breastfeeding promoted, facilitated and protected;
permitted location designated; right protected;
mother/infant-friendly employers encouraged; jury
service not required.
(a) The Legislature finds that promoting the breastfeeding of
infants is an important public health initiative providing
significant health benefits for both mother and child.
(b) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Resources shall develop a program to encourage employers to provide
safe and convenient facilities for mothers who are breastfeeding,
and to provide for designation and public recognition of those
mother/infant-friendly employers who facilitate breastfeeding by
employees by providing breaks from work, convenient facilities
including available refrigerated storage, flexible schedules or
(c) A mother may breastfeed a child in any location, public or
private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be.
A mother breastfeeding her child is not participating in lewd
conduct, and is not "seminude" as defined in section three-jj,
article one, chapter seven of this code; "nude" as defined in
section twenty-three, article four, chapter sixty of this code; or
"fully or partially nude" as defined in section twenty-eight,
article eight, chapter sixty-one of this code. A mother
breastfeeding her child has an expectation of privacy pursuant to section twenty-eight, article eight, chapter sixty-one of this
code, except for security cameras as they are regularly employed.
(d) The Secretary of the State Department of Health and Human
Resources shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine of this code, to effectuate the provisions of this
CHAPTER 52. JURIES.
ARTICLE 1. PETIT JURIES.
§52-1-8. Disqualification from jury service.
(a) The court, upon request of a prospective juror or on its
own initiative, shall determine on the basis of information
provided on the juror qualification form or interview with the
prospective juror or other competent evidence whether the
prospective juror is disqualified for jury service. The clerk
shall enter this determination in the space provided on the juror
qualification form and on the alphabetical lists of names drawn
from the jury wheel or jury box.
(b) A prospective juror is disqualified to serve on a jury if
the prospective juror:
(1) Is not a citizen of the United States, at least eighteen
years old and a resident of the county;
(2) Is unable to read, speak and understand the English
language. For the purposes of this section, the requirement of speaking and understanding the English language is met by the
ability to communicate in American sign language or signed English;
(3) Is incapable, by reason of substantial physical or mental
disability, of rendering satisfactory jury service; but a person
claiming this disqualification may be required to submit a
physician's certificate as to the disability and the certifying
physician is subject to inquiry by the court at its discretion;
(4) Has, within the preceding two years, been summoned to
serve as a petit juror, grand juror or magistrate court juror, and
has actually attended sessions of the magistrate or circuit court
and been reimbursed for his or her expenses as a juror pursuant to
the provisions of section twenty-one of this article, section
thirteen, article two of this chapter, or pursuant to an applicable
rule or regulation of the Supreme Court of Appeals promulgated
pursuant to the provisions of section eight, article five, chapter
fifty of this code;
(5) Has lost the right to vote because of a criminal
(6) Has been convicted of perjury, false swearing or other
(c) A prospective juror who is sixty-five years of age or
older, or who is a mother breastfeeding a child, is not
disqualified from serving, but shall be excused from service by the
court upon the juror's request.
(d) A prospective grand juror is disqualified to serve on a
grand jury if the prospective grand juror is an officeholder under
the laws of the United States or of this state except that the term
"officeholder" does not include notaries public.
(e) A person who is physically disabled and can render
competent service with reasonable accommodation shall not be
ineligible to act as juror or be dismissed from a jury panel on the
basis of disability alone: Provided, That the circuit judge shall,
upon motion by either party or upon his or her own motion,
disqualify a disabled juror if the circuit judge finds that the
nature of potential evidence in the case including, but not limited
to, the type or volume of exhibits or the disabled juror's ability
to evaluate a witness or witnesses, unduly inhibits the disabled
juror's ability to evaluate the potential evidence. For purposes
of this section:
(1) Reasonable accommodation includes, but is not limited to,
certified interpreters for the hearing impaired, spokespersons for
the speech impaired and readers for the visually impaired.
(2) The court shall administer an oath or affirmation to any
person present to facilitate communication for a disabled juror.
The substance of such oath or affirmation shall be that any person
present as an accommodation to a disabled juror will not deliberate
on his or her own behalf, although present throughout the
proceedings, but act only to accurately communicate for and to the disabled juror.
(f) Nothing in this article shall be construed so as to limit
in any way a party's right to peremptory strikes in civil or
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to promote the
breastfeeding of infants as a public policy initiative. The bill:
(1) Requires the Secretary of the State Department of Health and
Human Resources to establish a program to encourage and recognize
mother/infant-friendly employers; (2) protects a mother's right to
breastfeed a child in any location where the mother and child are
otherwise authorized to be; clarifies that a mother breastfeeding
a child is not engaging in lewd conduct or violating nudity laws
and is entitled to an expectation of privacy
; (3) requires rules;
and (4) permits breastfeeding mothers to be excused from jury duty.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would
§16-1-19 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.