Advocating For California Employee Rights

Breastfeeding mothers have specific rights

| May 12, 2021 | Discrimination

Women who work for the federal government have very specific rights if they’re breastfeeding. This is important because many women return to the workforce when their baby is still breastfeeding, but they may not want to give them formula. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act has a section that covers these rights. 

The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law contains specific requirements. If you need to utilize these, then make sure that you alert your supervisor so they can ensure the company complies with the law. While it’s illegal, some employers discriminate against breastfeeding mothers.

What must employers do to support breastfeeding employees?

Employers must provide nursing mothers with the time that they need to express breastmilk. Employers may not have to pay their breastfeeding employees for their breaks unless they do that with every other employees’ rest periods. The amount of time and frequency of the breaks depend on the woman’s needs. As the baby gets older, the frequency and duration of the breaks will likely decrease. 

Your employer also has to provide you with an appropriate place to express breastmilk. This space can’t be a bathroom, and it must be clean. It must be a private location that can accommodate a chair and a flat surface for the things you need to pump. The room will ideally have a door that locks, but this may be unnecessary if your employer can ensure that they won’t interrupt your pumping time. 

You may find it helpful to discuss your situation with an attorney if you’re a breastfeeding mother and your employer isn’t upholding your legal rights. Filing a complaint about the matter might be in order, but you may have other options as well. Your attorney can help you learn your options. That will aid you in making decisions that are in your best interest.