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Can you breastfeed at work in California?

Some people have a problem with breastfeeding in public. However, if you have a newborn baby, you need to remember the problem is theirs, not yours. You have the backing of California law.

Mothers are allowed to breastfeed anywhere in public or private in California as long as they and their babies have the right to be there. So, if you work in a nightclub, the “No under 21s” sign applies to your baby too. You would not have the right to breastfeed in the club because your baby does not have the right to be there in the first place.

The one exception is people’s homes. If someone invites you into their apartment or house, you do not have an automatic right to breastfeed.

Employers must also allow you to take breaks to express your milk. It is expected you align this with your allocated rest time where possible. If you need extra breaks to express milk, your employer does not need to pay you for it, but they need to let you have them unless they can show it severely disrupts their operations.

Employers must give you somewhere private to breastfeed or express your milk in private. Toilet cubicles are not considered adequate.

There is no age limit to a child you can breastfeed. It is your body and your baby; you have the right to choose whatever others think.

If you feel your Pensacola employer is not making reasonable allowances to accommodate your need to feed your baby, you could file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE). Consult an employment law attorney to find out more about your options.


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