Your Breastfeeding Rights in California
Breastfeeding in Public
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present."
Breastfeeding at Work
“Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature encourages the State of California and all California employers to strongly support and encourage the practice of breastfeeding by striving to accommodate the needs of employees, and by ensuring that employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding, or the expressing of milk for their children; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature respectfully memorializes the Governor to declare by executive order that all State of California employees shall be provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding, or the expressing of milk”
Jury Duty - Breastfeeding Mothers
The Judicial Council shall adopt a standardized jury summons for use, with appropriate modifications, around the state, that is understandable and has consumer appeal. The standardized jury summons shall include a specific reference to the rules for breast-feeding mothers. The use of the standardized jury summons shall be voluntary, unless otherwise prescribed by the rules of court.
A mother who is breastfeeding a child may request that jury service be deferred for up to one year, and may renew that request as long as she is breastfeeding. If the request is made in writing, under penalty of perjury, the jury commissioner must grant it without requiring the prospective juror to appear at court.
Lactation Accommodation for all California Employees
California Labor Code § 1030-1033. (2002)
1030. 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.
1031. 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.
1032. An employer is not required to provide break time under this chapter if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.
1033. (a) An employer who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.
(b) If, upon inspection or investigation, the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Labor Commissioner may issue a citation. The procedures for issuing, contesting, and enforcing judgments for citations or civil penalties issued by the Labor Commissioner for violations of this chapter shall be the same as those set forth in Section 1197.1.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, violations of this chapter shall not be misdemeanors under this code.
Breastfeeding in the Workplace
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is unlawful to engage in specified discriminatory practices in employment or housing accommodations on the basis of sex. Under existing law, “sex,” for purposes of the act, includes gender, pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth. AB 2386 amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to provide that the term 'sex' includes breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding and affords additional legal protections to women engaging in these activities.
Additional laws that protect breastfeeding mothers can be found on the California Department for Public Health website.
Disclaimer – Nothing on this site should be interpreted as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We are breastfeeding advocates. The purpose is to educate our community about the laws that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, as well as provide supporting documents for mothers when a nursing in public harassment incident must be remedied.