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The rights of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace


Deciding whether to breastfeed is an important decision that every new mother has to make. Breastfeeding has a huge impact on a child's health, and has emotional and psychological benefits as well.

Unfortunately, some women feel forced to stop breastfeeding because of the demands of their jobs. A full work schedule can make breastfeeding or pumping inconvenient. 

Fortunately, the law protects breastfeeding working mothers.

California's Labor Code requires all employees to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. This includes:

  • Providing mothers enough break time to pump or breastfeed
  • Providing a private space for mothers to pump or breastfeed (a bathroom stall or bathroom is not considered acceptable)

Employees are protected by other laws, as well, including the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA states that employees should be given breaks until the child reaches one year of age. This law applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.

Employers cannot discriminate against an employee for exercising her right to breastfeed or pump at work. Examples of discrimination could include demoting an employee, decreasing pay, making inappropriate comments about the situation or failing to make accommodations.

Making the decision to breastfeed is an important decision personal one that every new mother must make. You should not have to choose between your job and whether or not you breastfeed.

If your employer is refusing to accommodate your needs or allow time for you to pump at work, call an employment law attorney from Bononi Law Group, LLP, at 866-295-7512.

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