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Can your employer limit how often you can pump at work?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination

Nursing mothers in California have specific rights when it comes to pumping breast milk at work. Understanding these rights ensures you can balance your work responsibilities with your needs as a mother.

Break time for pumping

California law requires employers to provide break time for nursing mothers to pump breast milk. Regular break time must include this time, but allow additional time if needed. Employers cannot unduly limit the frequency of these breaks.

Suitable space for pumping

Employers must also provide a private, secure, and sanitary location for pumping. This space cannot be a bathroom. It should be close to your work area, ensuring convenience and comfort during your pumping breaks.

Employer compliance

Employers are generally compliant with federal FLSA and state requirements, but some may not be aware of the law or might attempt to limit break times. If your employer tries to restrict your pumping breaks, remind them of California’s legal provisions.

Steps to take if denied proper breaks

If your employer does not provide adequate time or space for pumping, document your requests and any responses. This documentation can be useful if you need to escalate the issue to your HR department or seek legal assistance.

Understanding your rights

Knowing your rights helps you ensure your employer adheres to the law. You can take necessary breaks to pump breast milk without fearing retaliation or job loss. Understanding these rights is essential to prevent workplace discrimination and to protect your well-being and job security.

Empowering yourself at work

Balancing work and nursing can be challenging, but knowing your rights and advocating for them ensures you can fulfill both roles effectively. Stay informed and proactive about your needs as a nursing mother at work.

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