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Lactation Breaks Under California Law

In 1998, the California legislature passed a resolution encouraging all California employers to accommodate the needs of breastfeeding employees by ensuring that employees would have adequate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing milk for their children.

In 2002, the legislature enacted labor code laws to accomplish this goal, making it mandatory for all employers to provide breaks and other accommodations to nursing employees.

Employers must give nursing employees a reasonable amount of time to express breast milk during the workday. These breaks should be taken during the employee’s usual rest and meal breaks, if possible.

However, employers must provide additional unpaid break time if necessary. Unlike federal law and the laws of some states, California has no upper limit on how long after a child’s birth the mother may continue to take lactation breaks.

As long as the employee is nursing, she may take breaks to express breast milk.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting


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