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Breastfeeding Initiative

Lactation Accommodation Laws for Workplace and School

State Laws

California Labor Code Section 1030-1033 

1030. Every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Break time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission shall be unpaid.

1031. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

1032. An employer is not required to provide break time under this chapter if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.

1033. (a) An employer who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation. (b) If, upon inspection or investigation, the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Labor Commissioner may issue a citation. The procedures for issuing, contesting, and enforcing judgments for citations or civil penalties issued by the Labor Commissioner for violations of this chapter shall be the same as those set forth in Section 1197.1. (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, violations of this chapter shall not be misdemeanors under this code.

Resources:

Education Code 222 

(a) A school operated by a school district or a county office of education, the California School for the Deaf, the California School for the Blind, and a charter school shall provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breast-feed an infant child, or address other needs related to breast-feeding. Reasonable accommodations under this section include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Access to a private and secure room, other than a restroom, to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child.

(2) Permission to bring onto a school campus a breast pump and any other equipment used to express breast milk.

(3) Access to a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk.

(4) Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.

(b) A lactating pupil on a school campus shall be provided a reasonable amount of time to accommodate her need to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child.

(c) A school specified in subdivision (a) shall provide the reasonable accommodations specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) only if there is at least one lactating pupil on the school campus.

(d) A school subject to this section may use an existing facility to meet the requirements specified in subdivision (a).

(e) A pupil shall not incur an academic penalty as a result of her use, during the schoolday, of the reasonable accommodations specified in this section, and shall be provided the opportunity to make up any work missed due to such use.

(f) (1) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A local educational agency shall respond to a complaint filed pursuant to paragraph (1) in accordance with Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(3) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department's receipt of the appeal.

(4) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or if the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.

Resources:

California Fair Employment and Housing Act 

(Government Code sections 12900 through 12996):

The Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, mental and physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, age, military and veteran status, pregnancy, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave. Government Code 12926 expands the definition of sex discrimination to include pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, plus any medically related conditions regarding pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

Resources:

General Resources:

Federal Laws

Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision 

(1) An employer shall provide— A. a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and B. a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.

(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer's business.

(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.

Resources:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978  amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. In 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that firing a woman because she is lactating or expressing milk is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Title VII states:

(a) Employer practices

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -

(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

(k) The terms 'because of sex' or 'on the basis of sex' include, but are not limited to, because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, including receipt of benefits under fringe benefit programs, as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work, and nothing in section 703(h) of this title shall be interpreted to permit otherwise. This subsection shall not require an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or except where medical complications have arisen from an abortion: Provided, That nothing herein shall preclude an employer from providing abortion benefits or otherwise affect bargaining agreements in regard to abortion.

Resources:

Pregnancy Discrimination : information on employee protections related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 

§ 106.40   Marital or parental status.

(a) Status generally. A recipient shall not apply any rule concerning a student's actual or potential parental, family, or marital status which treats students differently on the basis of sex.

(b) Pregnancy and related conditions. (1) A recipient shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student's pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom, unless the student requests voluntarily to participate in a separate portion of the program or activity of the recipient.

(2) A recipient may require such a student to obtain the certification of a physician that the student is physically and emotionally able to continue participation so long as such a certification is required of all students for other physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician.

(3) A recipient which operates a portion of its education program or activity separately for pregnant students, admittance to which is completely voluntary on the part of the student as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall ensure that the separate portion is comparable to that offered to non-pregnant students.

(4) A recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom in the same manner and under the same policies as any other temporary disability with respect to any medical or hospital benefit, service, plan or policy which such recipient administers, operates, offers, or participates in with respect to students admitted to the recipient's educational program or activity.

(5) In the case of a recipient which does not maintain a leave policy for its students, or in the case of a student who does not otherwise qualify for leave under such a policy, a recipient shall treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy and recovery therefrom as a justification for a leave of absence for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student's physician, at the conclusion of which the student shall be reinstated to the status which she held when the leave began.

General Resources:

Where should you go for help?  A list of organizations to contact according to the type of support needed.

Employment Protections for Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing   (U.S. Department of Labor): Describes federal employment laws protecting all workers in all states and territories.

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