Transitioning back to work after your maternity leave is challenging. Not only have you been out of the office for months now, but you need to adjust to a new workflow while taking continual lactation breaks. To make your transition smoother, your employer must provide you with lactation accommodations to make your transition smoother. To help you understand your rights, our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain which accommodations your employer should be making and whether you should be getting paid while taking lactation breaks.
While your employer must provide you with accommodations and allow you to pump, they are not required to compensate you for that time. However, if your employer already offered paid breaks, you can use that time to pump. For example, if your employer already gives you ten-minute breaks, but it takes you fifteen minutes to pump, your employer is not required to pay you for the last five minutes.
Your employer is required to give you a reasonable amount of break time to pump. Although there aren’t set regulations on how much time you should get, federal regulations advise workers to take about two to three breaks during an eight-hour shift.
Although your employer is not required to compensate you for lactation breaks, they are required to provide you with certain accommodations. For example, your employer must provide you with a private, secure, clean, and shielded room to pump milk.
As of January 1, 2020, the room your employer provides you must be free from intrusion by supervisors, coworkers, and the public. The room should have a place to sit down and a place to access a power source to plug in an electric pump. It is important to note that this room cannot be set up in the bathroom. Your employer must also provide you with a cooling device to store your milk, such as a refrigerator.