Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award
Each year in May, the California Breastfeeding Coalition recognizes businesses for their exemplary efforts to support lactating employees by creating breastfeeding policies, ensuring all staff are aware of their polices and talking with expectant mothers about accommodating their breastfeeding needs when they return to work. These criteria ensure compliance with existing California and Federal laws requiring employers to provide time and space for employees who want to express their milk.
We are pleased to announce the 2016 Awardees!
Community Bridges, a non-profit administrative agency for 10 public health and community support programs with 241 employees, serving all areas of Santa Cruz County is extremely committed to supporting their parenting employees. All employees at each program receive information about lactation accommodation during their orientation to their new job, and before pregnant women go out on maternity leave. Not only do they have a comprehensive lactation accommodation policy for pumping or breastfeeding at work, but also include the option of bringing children to work. It is a family-friendly organization with paid lunch and liberal leave policies.
Community support for breastfeeding matters and Gong’s IGA Market in Sanger is providing a supportive environment to enable breastfeeding employees and customers to express milk during work hours. They have established a private room with a door, comfortable sofa, refrigerator, outlet and extension cord to plug in a breast pump, baby changing station, cork board so moms can post things and breastfeeding support information can be posted and a trash can. Not only is this room available for employee use, but the room is also open to thousands of customers that come into the grocery story every week. They are also very clear in their policy that customers may openly breastfeed anywhere in the store or use the established breastfeeding room.
Kaiser Permanente promotes and supports breastfeeding among its members, patients and employees. In line with this commitment, Kaiser Permanente established requirements to support and encourage its breastfeeding employees. The Diablo Service Area Outpatient Medical Offices took these requirements and implemented the Workplace Accommodation plan to ensure that medical office staff are truly supported. Starting at their Pleasanton Medical offices, they educated all 450 employees about this plan, trained site managers, and have partnered with new mothers prior to maternity leave and when returning to work to accommodate their lactation needs. Employees have expressed appreciation for the privacy and support to continue breastfeeding while at work that enables them to experience Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing commitment to helping them stay healthy and give their newborns a chance for a healthy start through their choice to breastfeed.
Kissui Baby & Kith, is a small retail store with 8 employees located in Redlands providing astounding service to customers and employees by making their environment comfortable and open to breastfeeding. There is a chair by the register, an oversized rocking chair in the back of the store and a private back room for breastfeeding or for pumping breastmilk. In addition, employees are allowed to bring their child to work and encouraged to breastfeed wherever, whenever they are comfortable. Employees are provided with free breastfeeding classes and access to a Certified Lactation Educator. They have found that employees rarely miss work because of sickness, or child care issues. Kissui strives to maintain a clean, warm, friendly and positive experience for families in the Inland Empire.
The Merced County Office of Education Head Start Program has been dedicated to supporting employees with lactation accommodation at their various sites throughout the County and goes above and beyond to support their employee with their breastfeeding needs. To ensure that needs are met, the Executive Director sought assistance from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to provide support to employees, as well as to the families they serve. Since their sites are not always the most convenient to address breastfeeding needs, they conduct annual site visits to their service locations and ensure that their program is above the standard with access to care, materials, and community resources. They also provide flexibility for employees to pump when needed without fear of losing pay if the break goes past the 15 minute paid break.
PG&E Diablo Canyon Power Plant recognized the need to improve the lactation support at the plant site so they created a lactation support policy (the first of its kind for the power plant), designated three private milk expression rooms fully equipped with a refrigerator, hospital grade pump, storage bins, running water and comfortable chairs. For a plant comprised of over 1500 mostly male, age 50+ employees to adopt a policy for lactation support and construct three beautiful lactation rooms shows just how far Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Diablo Canyon Power Plant has come in making strides to keep women in the workforce.
Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency is a county based agency with 858 employees. They wanted to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable of their rights regarding lactation accommodation so they adopted a formal policy. This new policy is communicated to all employees at new hire and transfer orientations, when an employee takes pregnancy or adoption leave as well as when an employee returns from pregnancy and adoption leave. When an employee requests lactation accommodations, the supervisor completes a form noting that the employee has been notified of her rights. Staff state that they appreciate the communication that now takes place and that having a formal policy to reference has helped when challenging situations have arisen so that employees can continue pumping at work.
Shasta Elementary School is addressing the challenges of accommodating teachers and other school staff to find adequate time and suitable areas to pump at work. They did this by adopting a lactation accommodation policy that is included in their employee handbook. In addition, the principal asks the employees on maternity leave if they are planning to breastfeed and lets them know their options for pumping and/or having their child brought to work to be breastfed. The school has provided several options for breastfeeding employees. There is a quiet room on campus that has been set up as a private area for pumping or feeding that has been made comfortable, has a sink, electricity and is located in close proximity to a refrigerator. Another option is to pump or feed in the classroom if desired. Screens are utilized in classrooms to provide privacy for pumping or feeding during class time or recess. Other options are available if needed, such as the library or principal’s office. Employees report feeling very comfortable and supported which has helped them breastfeed their children longer.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is an agency of 400 employees. The Department strongly believes in working in a proactive way to protect the health of all working mothers and their infants and has shown this by providing rooms for breastfeeding mothers in the Public Health Department and supporting them in a positive, accepting manner. They also share the Lactation Accommodation Policy with staff and information is posted in break rooms. Before a woman begins her maternity leave she is given a packet of information including Breastfeeding Support and Accommodation. The Department also ensures culturally appropriate messaging with materials available to staff and visitors in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. They have also included breastfeeding information on their website for staff and the public to support them with breastfeeding in the first few days of life, a breastfeeding support phone line, information about breastfeeding laws, access to the County Breastfeeding Task Force’s Facebook page that is utilized for questions from employees, and contact information for the county breastfeeding coordinator.