Employer Tip: Be Sure To Comply With California Lactation Accommodation Laws

Hopefully, most employers are aware of California's laws requiring employers to reasonably accommodate an employee who desires to express milk for the employee's infant child. In a nutshell, California Labor Code sections 1030 and 1031 require an employer to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee's desire to express milk for her infant child and to provide the employee the use of a room or other location that is not a bathroom stall to express milk in private. The room or other location can be the room or location where the employee works if it provides sufficient privacy.

There are sound reasons for an employer to provide the required accommodation. To begin with, the law requires it and provides for civil penalties to be imposed against an employer that fails to comply with the requirements of Labor Code sections 1030 and 1031. Further, and perhaps even more significantly, in some circumstances, an employee who is not provided with the required accommodation could introduce into evidence the facts surrounding an employer's failure to provide the required accommodations to help support a claim or claims for alleged violation(s) of the Fair Employment and Housing Act based (e.g., a claim or claims based on alleged sex discrimination and/or medical condition discrimination).

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