California employees are people, not just employees. They have families, social lives, obligations and interests outside of their workplace. For many people, their work life is important but it comes second to their family. For employees with small children, this can often be a difficult balance to strike. There are some situations that employee will have to handle at work when they have small kids.
One such situation is breastfeeding. Nursing mothers will often need to express milk at work for the woman’s child. Federal employment laws protect nursing mothers in this situation. According to the United States Department of Labor, nursing mothers are allowed to take breaks to pump breast milk while at work. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, nursing mothers have the right to take breaks from work to express breast milk for up to one year after a new baby is born. Mothers can take these breaks as long as they need and as frequently as they need.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide a space for these mothers. This space must not be available to the public or any other employees. Furthermore, this space cannot be a bathroom.
This protection is extended to any worker covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This means that even some employers with less than 50 employees are subject to these rules. However, these breaks do not need to be paid. Employees can choose to express breast milk during paid breaks, though, if the employer provides them.
California employees have many employee rights. Understanding these rights is important to make sure employees are not suffering from illegal treatment. If workers think that employers are violating employment laws, they should speak with an attorney.