If you have come from maternity leave, you may be wondering whether your employer will offer you additional breaks to continue nursing your baby. As a nursing employee, you may be asking whether you have to use your lunch breaks to pump. Employee lunch breaks
can be used for such purposes, but this is up to an individual. In California, all nursing employees have the right to be provided with breaks to express milk throughout the day. Nevertheless, one cannot breastfeed the child at work. But if the employer is able to provide on-site childcare facilities, nursing mothers can breastfeed during their breaks. The reason is that; every employee is entitled to have rest and meal breaks.
Who Is Covered For Reasonable Breaks?
Any nursing mothers working in California need to know how the State law protects them. Those workers whose employers are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and are not exempt from their overtime pay requirements are entitled to breaks for expressing milk. Though employers who are not covered under such are not required to give such breaks, the state laws mandate them to provide such breaks. Again, those employers with less than 50 workers are not required to provide the breaks if it’s deemed to cause undue hardship.
What You Need To Know As A Nursing Employee
According to federal and state law in California, the employee must have mandatory breaks to express milk. Thus employers have responsibilities to see that the nursing employers continue to do so even after returning to work. The law requires that these employees be provided with:
· Reasonable unpaid break: Nursing employees get a reasonable amount of time to express milk. There is no set time that a nursing employee should take, but an employee may choose to use their lunch or rest breaks to nurse. Although the law provides for reasonable breaks, they are not to be paid.
· Adequate facilities for expressing milk: An employer should provide a private room or space other than washrooms to allow a nursing employee to pump. The private room should be free from other employees or members of the public. Again, there is no law stating the time limit for a mother to do this.
· No retaliation: No employer should discriminate or retaliate against a nursing employee because they have requested for such time.
Nevertheless, employers are obligated to provide additional unpaid break time if it’s deemed necessary. But if allowing for the additional breaks may disrupt the business, an employer is not obligated to comply with the law. The law requires that if a nursing mother is not entirely relieved of their duties, then that time must be compensated for the same way as other employees.
Talk To An Employment Lawyer
Employers who take negative actions against nursing mothers who request additional time to express milk should face the law. If you’re a nursing mother who feels that your employer denied you adequate time to pump, you can talk to the human resource department to have your issues discussed. If this seems unsuccessful, you may speak to an employment lawyer to know your rights and responsibilities.