Make Sure Your Business Is In Compliance With California Breastfeeding Discrimination Laws
Welcome, California Employers. We are continuing on our series of blog posts about the 2013 changes in California Employment laws.
One of the biggest enhancements to existing California laws was in the area of breastfeeding discrimination. AB 236 now specifically prohibits workplace discrimination against women who are breastfeeding.
So what does this mean for you as the California Employer?
Well the answer to that is… it depends…obviously if there are no women who have the need to breast feed currently under your employment, then there is a little less pressure. If you do currently have women who are breastfeeding who you employ, then keep reading!
What does the law say and what are your obligations?
The law basically says that a mother can breastfeed her child in ANY location (except for someone else’s home). Since the workplace is one of those places it is allowed the onus is on the employer to provide the means. This means that they must be given breaks where they can breastfeed as well as reasonable accommodations in which to do so. Reasonable accommodations would generally mean close enough to where they work and where they can have some privacy.
So what’s the plan?
There are two angles here where you need to make sure your covered.
- Discrimination – You want to make sure there is no discrimination taking place again breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. The best way to help protect yourself against that is updating your Employee Handbooks and procedures to make sure they include specific policies against it. Add this to your existing discrimination policies in your handbook.
- Reasonable Accommodation – Remember the burden is now on you the California employer to provide a place where your employee can lactate in private, that is reasonably close to where they work. Depending on your office space, what type of business your in, and other factors this could prove to be no big deal or a massive effort. The best thing to do is to think of a place ahead of time that would work for this if the situation ever came up. It would be better to have this all ready to go then to try to scramble around for a solution once one of your employees got pregnant. Of course you could use the area for whatever you wanted until you actually found yourself in the situation.
If you are a California business owner who has questions on the new California Breastfeeding Discrimination Laws or any other employment matters contact our professional labor attorneys today. We specialize in Employer defense and ONLY protect business owners!
We are professional labor attorneys who specialize in defending California business owners. Contact Us Today!