Effective January, 2020, mothers in California will enjoy greater protection under the law with respect to infant care. Senate Bill 142 (amending Labor Code Sections 1030, 1031, and 1033, and adding Labor Code Section 1034) provides that employees desiring to express milk for an infant child must be given a reasonable amount of break time each time the employee has the need to express milk.
The new statute further provides that employers must provide a lactation room that meets specific requirements, including access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee’s workspace (unless the employer has fewer than 50 employees and would suffer undue hardship).
An employee denied adequate break time or space to express milk may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner and is protected from discharge, discrimination, and retaliation. The new statute also mandates that employers must develop and implement policies regarding lactation accommodation.
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