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New Laws for Moms in the Workplace

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.

The information in this article is not intended to, nor should it be considered to be, legal advice, nor does it create an attorney/client relationship. While this article contains a non-exhaustive discussion on recent laws or topics effecting California employees and/or employers, the laws outside of California and/or in federal court may be different than those discussed herein. Further, there is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained in this article is true, correct or precise. The law varies from place to place and it evolves over time—sometimes quite quickly. Even if a statement made herein about the law is accurate, the law may have changed, been modified or overturned by subsequent development since the entry was posted. The article is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a licensed professional who can apply it to the particular circumstances of a case. It is intended to initiate further consideration, inquiry, or consultation on the topics discussed. Please contact Urbanic & Associates, Inc. for a full evaluation of your case. In the alternative, please contact a local bar association, law society or similar association of jurists in your legal jurisdiction to obtain a referral to a competent legal professional if you do not have other means of contacting an attorney.