California Breastfeeding Laws


Breastfeeding at Work

California employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and make a reasonable effort to provide a private space, other than a toilet stall, close to the employee’s work area, to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for her baby:

“Every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Break time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission shall be unpaid.”

- Labor Code § 1030

“The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section.”

- Labor Code § 1031

Breastfeeding in School

Certain schools are required to “provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breast-feed an infant child, or address other needs related to breast-feeding…”

- Education Code § 222

Useful Tips:

  • You can get a jury duty deferral for up to one year if you are breastfeeding your child. (California Rules of Court, Rule 2.1006)

  • Employers may not discriminate against you on the basis of breastfeeding. (Government Code § 12926)

  • As of January 1, 2016, most large airports are required to provide a room for nursing mothers to express milk, which room must be equipped with an electrical outlet and a chair, at a minimum. (Government Code § 50479)

  • An employer who violates the breastfeeding protection laws is subject to a $100 penalty for each violations. (Labor Code § 1033)

  • You may be eligible for breastfeeding support, educational materials, counseling, enhanced food packages, breast pumps, and nursing supplements through WIC. (www.fns.usda.gov/wic/ or (916) 650-0305 or https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/BreastFeeding/Pages/default.aspx)


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