With a new year comes extended protections for California working mothers who are nursing. This state already has a series of regulations in place that protect women who are lactating. However, the laws on the books were not enough, and more was required. At Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, our qualified and experienced Los Angeles workplace discrimination attorneys want to discuss these new changes and how they could affect you in the workplace. We are ready to help anybody who has been discriminated against in the workplace secure the compensation they deserve.
California Works To Protect Nursing Mothers In The Workplace
California has several regulations in place to protect women who are lactating when they are at work. Most of these laws have been on the books since 2002. However, as of January 1, 2020, women have even more protections
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on October 10 that requires employees to provide more than just a room for lactation. Now, this room must:
- Be clean and free of hazardous materials
- Have running water
- Have access to a refrigerator
- Have a clean surface on which women can place a breast pump
- Have a place to sit
- Have an electrical outlet
The room must also be free from any possible intrusion and be allowed no other uses during lactation. While the state law did require that a room for lactation be set aside, it did not have any of those other accommodation requirements.
The law requires that companies have these new requirements written into their policies. Some detractors of the law argue that getting the requirements in place by the new year proved difficult, particularly the requirement that the room has a sink and running water. They say that reconfiguring plumbing is not always easy.
There are some exceptions to the law. If employers use multi-tenant buildings, they may share a lactation area with other companies in the building if necessary. Employers with space limitations or financial constraints must provide a private room near a lactating person’s workspace, but it does not have to have the sink or refrigerator.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees can apply for an exemption if it can be shown that they will suffer financial hardship due to the law. In the future, workspaces will likely be designed with a room set aside for lactation because of this new law.
Let Us Help You Get Through This
If you or somebody you care about has faced more place discrimination in any way, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping workers who have been wronged. Our goal is to secure the compensation they are entitled to. This can include:
- Recovery of any lost wages
- Reinstatement to your job if necessary
- Court costs and legal fees
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against the employer