California employers must provide a place for lactation to their employees. They must also give the employee time to pump breast milk throughout their workday. Ideally, these periods run concurrently with breaks already provided to the employee. Still, if additional time is needed, the employer must provide unpaid time to perform the job as long as the woman chooses to breastfeed. The employer cannot demand a medical note or require the woman to lactate in the restroom.
What an employee can do if their employer does not follow the law
Providing time and a place to express breast milk is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If an employee is not given a place or time to express breast milk and an adequate place to store it, they can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement for employment law violation. The woman should start by filling out a wage claim form.
Consequences an employer can face
If this agency finds the employer guilty, the employer will have to pay the employee for an hour of work at their regular pay rate for each violation. The employer may also need to pay a fine for every day that they deny the woman a place and time to express her breastmilk.
No, not all employers must follow this section of the law. Only those who have more than 50 employees operate their business in multiple locations, including different countries.
Providing time and a comfortable place to pump breast milk is the law. If you are an employer, ensure you follow it, or you could face sanctions.