What workplace rights do you have as a new mother?

It may be easy for people in San Diego to fall into the trap of thinking that discriminatory acts only include those actions influenced by permanent biological or sociological traits (such as your race, religion or gender). Indeed, you may become the target of discrimination based solely on a temporary factor (such as a medical condition).

Pregnancy is one such condition, yet like most, you may think that any employment protections you qualify for due to it end once you deliver your baby. Yet that is not the case. Your employer must also respect the time needed to both recover from your delivery and bond with your new child.

Workplace rights following pregnancy

Typically, rights related to this time include your right to take time off from work during the first few months of your child’s life (with the promise that your job will still be there when you return to work). Yet what about when you return? Like many new mothers, you may choose to nurse your child rather than rely on bottle-feeding. This means that when your baby is not around, you may need to express breast milk. The question then becomes to what extent your employer must respect that need.

Reviewing the rights of nursing mothers

Per the U.S. Department of Labor, your employers must provide you with both the time needed to express breast milk as well as a private location in your workplace (other than a bathroom) for you to do so. That right remains in place for one from the date of your delivery. You should understand, however, that this applies only if your company employs more than 50 people.

Local regulations may also afford you certain protections when it comes to expressing breast milk while at work. These rights would supersede any federal regulations.

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