California has long been at the forefront of workplace protection laws. However, one group of people has long been neglected – working mothers who breastfeed. This group now has a new law in place in the state, and the team at the Azadian Law Group wants to discuss this with you today. Our Employment discrimination lawyers Los Angeles are here to help anyone who faces discrimination in the workplace.
Over the last few years, women who breastfeed have come under attack, whether they are out shopping or in the workplace. While California does have laws on the books that extend some protection for mothers in the workplace who are lactating, they were passed in 2002 and were not very strong. However, that has changed.
On Oct. 10, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that significantly increases an employer’s responsibility to women who are lactating. The new law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and states that employers must provide a room for lactating women that:
This room must be free from any possible intrusion from other people in the workplace, and it can have no other allowed uses during lactation. Previously, the law only required that a room be set aside for lactation. In many cases, this ended up being a bathroom, storage closet, or other unsanitary or unsafe place.
Many businesses objected to this law due to the difficulties they say they would face when implementing all the changes. Some employers have argued that reconfiguring plumbing so a sink and running water can be added to the lactation room would be a massive expense.
This law does have some exceptions. Employers who have less than 50 employees may apply for an exemption if it is shown they will suffer financial hardship when complying with this law. If companies use multi-tenant buildings, they are allowed to share lactation areas with other companies in the building. Any employer that has a limited amount of space or significant financial constraints may provide a private room for lactating women that do not have a sink or refrigerator.
If you or somebody you care about has been discriminated against in the workplace, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Azadian Law Group, PC, we are dedicated to helping protect those who have been wronged in the workplace in California. Our team will investigate your case and work to secure the compensation you deserve. This can include: