Riverside pregnancy discrimination attorneys at The Nassiri Law Group know that discrimination of new mothers extends even far beyond the gestation period. Breastfeeding discrimination/ caregiver discrimination – an extension of pregnancy and gender discrimination – is a serious problem in California workplaces as well as throughout the country. A report in 2016 from the Center for Worklife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law pointed to an 800 percent uptick in the number of breastfeeding-related discrimination lawsuits in the decade prior.
Now, California has boosted protections for employees who are nursing, starting Jan. 1, 2019 with Assembly Bill 1976, signed by the governor in September. Existing law already requires all employers in California to provide a reasonable break time for accommodation of workers to express milk for their children. State law also mandates that companies offer a private space to do so that is somewhere other than a toilet stall that is reasonably close to one’s work area. Violations are subject to civil penalty by the state Labor Commissioner.
The new bill requires employers to make a reasonable effort to provide space to pump or breastfeed that isn’t in a bathroom – even if the space is temporary. Agricultural employers could be compliant by providing a space that is private, enclosed and shaded (including but not limited to an air-conditioned cab of truck or tractor). Employers who make a temporary space available need to show that providing a permanent space would cause undue hardship and that the temporary space is still free from intrusion, used only for lactation and meets other state specifications. Agricultural employers could be compliant by providing a space that is private, enclosed and shaded (including but not limited to an air-conditioned cab of truck or tractor). Continue reading