Am I Allowed More or Longer Breaks if I Have to Pump at Work?


The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the United States Department of Labor enforces the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law. Knowing your rights as a nursing employee and communicating with your boss early on are two essential stages in preparing for a triumphant return to work.

Since 2010, the government “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” rule has made it easier for more mothers to breastfeed while also working.

Employers must give lactation breaks and an isolated location for workers paid by the hour to pump throughout the workday, according to the law, and if you’re in doubt, a Los Angeles lactation attorney can help.

What is the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” Law Based on

Nonexempt (hourly) employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are subject to the law. Employers are required to provide a location that is not a restroom. No one should be able to see inside since it must be private.

Employers are not required to provide a permanent designated place for employees who are breastfeeding. Your employer satisfies the space requirements as long as the space is available whenever you need it.

Time: The legislation compels employers to give “reasonable” break time, noting that each mother’s pumping frequency and duration differs. Employers must provide you with time and space whenever you require it. You’ll need to pump as often as your baby feeds to keep your supply up.

Remember to factor in all the steps you’ll need to take when estimating how much time you’ll need, including the time it’ll take to gather your pumping materials, travel to the place, pump, clean up, and return to your workspace.

The law does not require compensation for pumping breaks., but if your company already provides paid breaks, and you use them to pump your milk, they should pay for your time as usual.

Small Businesses: The “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” rule applies to all employers, regardless of their size or number of employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be allowed to seek an undue hardship exemption after receiving a complaint from a breastfeeding employee.

To qualify for an exemption for that employee, the employer must demonstrate that providing these accommodations would pose a “significant difficulty or expense when compared to the size, financial resources, character, or structure of the employer’s business.”

They must follow the law until the Department of Labor grants them an exemption, or you can reach out to a Los Angeles workplace attorney.

What are The Exemptions

Unless one of the following scenarios applies, all California employers must allow new moms to take a reasonable break to express breast milk. If not, contact a Los Angeles employment attorney.

Serious Disturbances

When taking a lactation break would substantially interrupt the employer’s activities, lactation break privileges do not apply. The term “severe interruption” is not defined in the statute.

It is most likely to exist in situations where the employer has significant difficulty or expense due to their size, financial resources, or unique company circumstances.

Children Who Are Not Infants

Lactation breaks are only available to employees who are expressing breast milk for their infant kid. For these purposes, there is no hard and fast rule concerning how old a child must be to be called an infant. The right to take breastfeeding breaks should extend to at least one year and possibly two or three years, according to the courts.

Have You Been Victimized?

Resolve the conflict with your employer amicably, file a complaint with a government agency, or file a civil lawsuit. A variety of criteria determines the optimal course of action unique to the employee’s circumstances, such as the type of right that the employment infringed on and the severity of the employee’s suffering.

Typically, the law forbids employers from retaliating against employees who assert or seek to assert their rights. As a result, employees who report violations of their breastfeeding rights cannot be penalized, fired, or mistreated.

How an Employment Attorney Los Angeles Can Help

Hire a Los Angeles employment lawyer to help you pursue these possibilities. Neal-Lopez Law Group, we can assess the nature of the claim, make recommendations for the best course of action, and negotiate on your behalf.

However, it is essential to note that the deadline for filing claims is frequently short. As a result, if employees want to assert their rights, they should contact the Los Angeles Lactation Lawyer quickly.