In 2020, new Mothers attempting to return to work should feel more at ease! Effective January 1, 2020, California passed a new revised Lactation Accommodation Law providing greater protections for nursing mothers in the workplace by providing specific requirements for breaks and lactation space. No medical documentation is required! (Lab. C. §§ 1030-1034)
If an employer otherwise discriminates, takes unfair action, or retaliates against the new mothers for exercising these new rights, then the employee (new mom) may have an employment case or lawsuit. (Labor Code §§ 226.7, 1033.)
Under the new laws, Labor Code § 1030 specifies that employers must provide new mothers the break time each time the employee needs to express milk.
Other changes to Labor Code § 1031 were also favorable for new mothers in the workplace. The new revised law requires an employer to provide a lactation space, which is not a bathroom, it must be in close proximity to the employee’s work area, be shielded from view, and must be free from intrusion while the new mother is expressing milk.
Other protections for new mothers includes requirements that the employers must provide employees to a sink and running water, and a refrigerator for storing milk. (Labor Code § 1031(d).)
Other notable improvements provide that the lactation room must be clean and safe, contain a surface to place a breast pump and personal items, contain a place to sit, and provide access to electricity or other reasonable alternatives to use the room. (§ 1031, subd. (c).)
Now, there are certain and specific employer exceptions to these new laws for mothers (Labor Code § 1031, subd. (f)-(i)), but it’s important to immediately contact a qualified and experienced employment lawyer to assist and help you.
If you or someone you love has been treated differently because you are a nursing mother, we here at RA LAW LLP urge you to contact our office at 909-944-3777 or visit us at https://www.ralawllp.com for a FREE CONSULTATION.