Returning to your job in Los Angeles after having a baby can be difficult (and not simply for the reasons that most people would assume). While you no doubt miss your new little one terribly, your body may still be operating as that of new mother. As you know, this may require not only nursing your baby, but also pumping breast milk when you they are away from you. Expressing breast milk is already a very personal experience, and not something you likely feel comfortable doing outside of the privacy of your own home. Yet when you are away from home at work, is your employer required to provide you any special accommodations? 

The answer to that question is yes. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer is required to provide you with adequate break time in order for you to express breast milk during work hours. On top of that, it is required to provide you with a discrete and private location in which to do so. That location should be something other than a restroom, and must be free from the potential of intrusions by both coworkers and the general public. This courtesy must be extended to you for up to one year from the date of your child’s birth. 

However, your employer is not required to pay you during these times that you are given in order to express breast milk. Furthermore, if your company employs less than 50 people, and it argues that fulfilling this obligation to you would place an undue financial hardship on it, it may be absolved of the responsibility to do so.