Working & Breastfeeding
Tips, FAQs & Links
Tips for Employers
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1. Adopt a workplace lactation accommodation policy. Implement training for all employees to support breastfeeding employees as well as open communication about practices and allowances.
2. Include prevention training for discrimination against breastfeeding employees, as part of required sexual harassment and discrimination trainings that you provide for your employees.
3. Provide a private space that is sanitary, has an electrical outlet, and is near a sink with running water.
4. Provide a separate storage space for expressed milk such as an additional refrigerator in the lactation space.
5. Arrange for coverage (such as using “floaters”) while a breastfeeding employee is away from her work station.
Lactation Accommodation - Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to allow my employees to take breaks to express milk?
Both the California law and Federal law require you to allow employees a reasonable amount of time to express milk. The allotted time can come out of their normal break and meal break allowances, and extra time needed beyond that amount can be paid out with personal leave hours or made up as negotiated with supervisors.
Am I required to provide space for an employee to express milk?
The law requires employers to provide access to a private space, shielded from view and free from intrusion, that is not a restroom or toilet stall.
Am I responsible for the behaviors of other employees towards breastfeeding or milk expressing employees?
Yes! Breastfeeding employees are protected by California law against workplace discrimination and harassment, just as they are against sexual harassment. Employers are required to provide a harassment-free workplace.
Links for Employers
Click here for a printable version of "Employers' Tips and FAQs"
The Business Case for Breastfeeding
Society for Human Resource Management
Maternity Leave and Return Toolkit for Employers and Employees
National Business Group on Health
San Diego Breastfeeding Coalition
California Laws & Initiatives:
California Department of Industrial Relations
United States Laws & Initiatives:
United States Department of Labor