Webinar: Can I Still Pump at Work? Pandemic Considerations for Lactating Workers in California


No CEUs are provided for this webinar after June 29, 2021.

Note: This webinar was conducted at the start of the pandemic and recommendations presented may have changed.

Click here to view the webinar recording.

Click here to view Jessica Lee ppt slides.

Click here to view Caroline Wick ppt slides.

USBC: Federal Resources to Support Nursing Moms at Work

Office on Women’s Health: Supporting Nursing Moms at Work website

Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit

Speakers Bios (click here):

  • Jessica Lee, Staff Attorney, Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings College of Law
  • Caroline Wick, Lactation Program Coordinator, Family Services, Campus Life Services, UC San Francisco 
  • Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, Executive Director, California Breastfeeding Coalition

Objectives: By the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe what constitutes a workplace lactation accommodation
  • Integrate current CDC guidelines to develop safe workplace lactation spaces
  • Use tools to start a best practice lactation accommodation program

Time Stamps:

0:18 Introduction by moderator, Gaby Cavins

3:18 Speaker Jessica Lee: Legal Requirements

3:50 What do breastfeeding workers need?

  • Time to express milk (on average 2-3 times)
  • Private and clean space- comfort is key
  • Other reasonable accommodations

7:20 CA Workplace Legal Rights

  • California law requires a safe, private, nearby, and usable space and reasonable break time (unpaid) for lactation
  • California law requires reasonable accommodations for lactation

12:00 Federal Law for Nursing Mothers

  • Requires reasonable break time and private space (not a bathroom) for up to one year postpartum
  • Most hourly workers are covered, but the law leaves out millions who are exempt from overtime
  • Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (Title VII) includes lactation- prohibits discrimination, prohibits harassment, and requires equal accommodation

16:15 State Workplace Lactation Laws- Link for information on individual state laws

16:45 COVID-19 Impact and Laws for Parents 

  • Difficult for employees to seek accommodations 
  • Readjusting to pumping after WFH
  • Increased concern about contamination
  • Laws are the same, but so are the reasonable and undue burden tests
  • Employers are still required to meet space demands- ask for help if necessary

22:25 Writing Effective Accommodation Notes

  • Educate the decision-maker about breastfeeding and pumping
  • Make the case for patients only covered by an anti-discrimination or accommodation law
  • Empowerment- give support
  • Model note on their website: www.PregnantAtWork.org/healthcare-professionals/breastfeeding

26:46 Speaker Caroline Wick: Lactation Room Safety in the Context of COVID19

29:00 Compare workplace to CDC Guidelines and Recommendations

  • Care for breastfeeding women
  • How to keep your breast pump kit clean
  • Cleaning and disinfecting your facility

33:35 Examine and discuss areas that need enhancement in your workplace

  • Lactation room signage can help remind staff of safety precautions

41:40 Speaker Robbie Gonzalez-Dow: Plan Program

41:50 Create a committee to discuss needs and get input from stakeholders

45:40 Assess Needs- How many rooms, oversight, options, renovations, training, 


48:50 Develop a plan- oversight and communication are important

54:10 Other considerations

  • Minimum space required: 4’ x 5’ 
  • Number of spaces needed based on number of female employees
  • Proximity- 5 minute, easy access, central location
  • Need chair and flat surface
  • Private
  • Time- Paid? Coverage?  
  • Milk storage- need refrigerator 

1:02:45 Resources

1:11:30 Questions and Answers


Print Friendly, PDF & Email