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1004 - Lactation Accommodation


Equal Employment Opportunity

Audience List

  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Transactions Supervisors


This policy

  • Explains what employers are required to provide to employees for lactation accommodation.
  • Provides guidance on time allotted for the purpose of expressing breast milk.
  • Provides examples of appropriate workplace spaces for expressing breast milk.
  • Provides the potential penalty for employers that violate the provisions of the statutes.


The provisions in the California Labor Code sections 1030 through 1033 and of the amendments to section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act, brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, require employers to provide reasonable lactation accommodations.


Employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and an appropriate location to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for their infant. Departments are encouraged to be flexible, accommodating, and in compliance with current California and federal laws.

If possible, the time allotted for the purpose of expressing breast milk should run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Typically, a lactating woman will need approximately 15 to 30 minutes for each session and they may occur every 2 to 3 hours. Frequency and duration will vary. While the routine break times provided may be sufficient for some women to complete the process, others may need additional time. Although law does not require employers to allow employees to extend their workday (i.e., begin work earlier or end work later) to make up for unpaid break time used for expressing breast milk, departments are encouraged to provide flexible scheduling for those employees who choose to make up for any unpaid break time.

The statutes further require employers to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location in which to express breast milk. The room or location must be in close proximity to the employee’s work area, other than a restroom, and must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public. The room or location where the employee normally works may be used for this purpose if it otherwise meets the requirements.

Examples of workplace spaces which may be appropriate include a vacant office, a woman’s lounge area, a first aid room, a dressing room, or a room or office space which can be made available during specific times of the day for this purpose. To facilitate privacy, a lock may be added to the door or a sign may be posted on the entrance indicating the room is in use.

California law provides that an employer who violates the provisions of this statute may be subject to a $100 civil penalty for each violation.


Not Applicable.




  • PML 2016-017: PML 2016-017 - 6/15/2016 - Lactation Accommodation

Contact Person

Personnel Services Branch
Personnel Program Consultant, Personnel Services Branch
Phone: 916-323-3343
Fax: 916-327-1886

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division


View History

Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2500 - Discipline

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace