Workplace and School
How to talk to your employer/school about your needs for a private space and break time to express milk at work
Don’t be shy to talk with your supervisor about your needs. Most employers want to meet the needs of their employees. They may need ideas of how they can best help you. Start the conversation during your pregnancy, if possible. This will give your supervisor time to make any arrangements that might be needed. Check out this website for ideas how to comfortably discuss your needs with your supervisor.
How to make a complaint if not provided a private space and break time to express milk at work (lactation accommodation)
California Department of Industrial Relations, Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement:
You can make a complaint to the California Department of Industrial Relations, Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE) office nearest your place of employment when your employer is not following California Labor Code 1030-1033. To make a complaint, see http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToReportViolationtoBOFE.htm.
Read the Labor Commissioner’s website dedicated to lactation accommodation frequently asked questions.
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing:
Failure to provide lactation accommodations is also unlawful under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under FEHA, California employees can make a complaint to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Complaints must be made within one year. To learn more about the complaint process, see here.
U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division:
You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD), if your employer is covered by section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Visit the WHD website to learn about “How to File a Complaint.”
You can also call the WHD toll-free information and helpline, available 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).
You can also view this video that explains the complaint process.
We highly encourage you to call the departments listed above for legal questions. They provide telephone support in many languages.
If you have more questions about your right to lactation accommodations at work, please visit the Legal Aid at Work Work & Family Program or contact the helpline at (415) 593-0033 (toll-free in California).
Still confused and need guidance? Email the California Breastfeeding Coalition at email@example.com or call 831-917-8939.
How to make a complaint if not provided a private space and break time to express milk at school
Contact the District – e.g., Title IX Coordinator
Submit a Complaint – Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP)
- Within 6 months of the incident
- District has 60 days to respond
- Appeal to CA Department of Education within 60 days
- UCP form: https://www.aclusocal.org/issues/lgbt-equality/student-rights-project/uniform-complaint-form/
- More information about the UCP: https://www.aclunc.org/sites/default/files/how_to_file_a_complaint_with_your_school.pdf
Contact the ACLU: https://www.acluca.org/contact-us/
Resources to make breastfeeding and work/school possible!