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What Breast-Feeding Rights Do I Have at Work?

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Breast-feeding discrimination against new mothers is not only hurtful but in California, it’s also illegal. Many people who face discrimination at work are afraid to claim their rights for fear of losing their jobs. But anyone who has been discriminated against should know that they are lawyers who can fight for their rights and help obtain justice.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it clear that breast-feeding is protected by law and any discrimination based on breastfeeding is illegal.


Laws That Protect Nursing Mothers 

In Los Angeles, pregnant or breast-feeding employees are part of a protected class.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also called the Affordable Care Act) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time for an employee to express breast milk.

The requirement protects nursing mothers for up to one year after the child’s birth. The law also mandates employers to provide a place that is shielded from view and intrusions of colleagues or the public. Further, the law specifies that the place cannot be a bathroom. 


Types of Employers Must Comply 

Employers covered by the FSLA must comply with laws that entitle nursing mothers with the necessary break times to express breast milk. All employers are subject to the FSLA break time requirements unless the employer has fewer than 50 employees and can demonstrate that complying would create an undue hardship. To determine whether an employer’s compliance would create an undue hardship depends on the difficulty of the compliance for each employer in comparison to the financial resources, size, structure, or nature of the employer’s business.

All employees working for the covered employer will be counted regardless of work location. The FSLA defines an employee as an individual employed by an employer. According to the FSLA, all employees including full-time, part-time, and any other individuals who meet the definition should be counted. 


Signs of Pregnancy Discrimination  

If you’ve experienced any of the following breastfeeding or pregnancy-related discrimination, you have the right to file a claim. Some common signs of discrimination to look out for include:

An employer does not have a private room that is shielded from view and intrusions of colleagues or the public for nursing mothers.

Denial of a reasonable amount of break time to express breast milk as necessary.

Any violation of federal or state laws regarding your employee rights.

Any retaliatory actions for asserting your rights such as reduced hours, demotion, or wrongful termination.


Contact a Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer Today

Nursing mothers have rights that protect them from discrimination at work. New mothers should be able to fulfill their job duties without having to feel discriminated against at work because of their status. If you’ve noticed any signs of pregnancy-related discrimination at work, you have the right to file a claim against those at fault.

An experienced and compassionate pregnancy-related discrimination lawyer will fight for your rights and can help get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to speak with an attorney about your potential case.

About the Author
Picture of Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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