As a mother, returning to work is one of a number of difficult decisions you face. If you are breastfeeding your child, you will need special provisions to allow you to pump breast milk while you are at work. The federal “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law has been in place since 2010 to help protect mothers and support them.
About the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” Law
This law covers all non-exempt (hourly) employees who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under this law, employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a private space to take care of their nursing needs. The location must be completely private and may not be a restroom. The space does not to be dedicated to nursing mothers alone or be permanent, but it must be available when needed.
Your employer must offer reasonable breaks to allow you to pump as often as required. Employers should recognize that different women have different needs, and allow breaks to be taken accordingly. When determining the time you need for a break, you should remember to include the time it takes you to leave your desk to pump, the time to gather supplies, and the time to clean up and return to your workspace. Pumping breaks are not required to be paid, but you may use your paid breaks to pump.
Small businesses may be exempt from the law, but only after a complaint has been filed by a breastfeeding employee. The business must prove that providing reasonable accommodations would involve significant difficulty or expense when considering the size, financial resources, and structure of the business in question.
If you have further questions about your rights as a breastfeeding mother, or you feel that your employer is denying you your rights, please get in touch with our Hollister employment attorneys. At Polaris Law Group, our lead attorney has more than 20 years of legal experience fighting for the rights of California workers. Protect your rights and your needs as a mother.