It is the purpose of this policy to establish guidelines for promoting a supportive work environment for County employees who choose to express breast milk for their infant child.
- Right to Reasonable Break Time: County employees who choose to express breast milk for their infant child have the right to a reasonable amount of break time each time they need to express milk for their infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee.
- Paid and Unpaid Break Time: The break time will be paid when it runs concurrently with any paid break time the employee already receives. Reasonable additional break time will be provided but such break time is unpaid.
- Flexing hours: Employees should speak to their supervisor or manager if they wish to flex their schedule in order to continue working their regular amount of hours per day while still taking unpaid breaks to express breast milk. Such requests will be granted when reasonable and when they do not present an undue hardship to the department.
- Employee Requests for Break Time: Employees should make requests for break time in writing to their supervisor or manager as soon as practicable after an employee learns of the need for lactation break time or the need for a change in previously approved lactation break times.
- Department Response to Employee Requests: Departments should respond to employee requests for break time as soon as possible after receipt of the request. Departments and employees are encouraged to have an open discussion about breaks and possible solutions for providing the employee breaks each time the need to express milk arises, while still addressing the needs of the department and the public it serves. If a department anticipates it will deny an employee’s request for lactation accommodation, before doing so, the department must consult with the County ADA Manager to discuss legal requirements and explore ways to accommodate the request. Any denial of a lactation accommodation must be provided to the employee in writing and a copy kept by the Department.
- Lactation Room: The County has several rooms throughout its facilities designated for employees to express milk. The following is a link to a list of such rooms https://smcgov.sharepoint.com/sites/wellness/SitePages/Worksite-Lactation-Program.aspx. If an employee has a need to express milk and there is no designated lactation room within close proximity to the employee’s workspace, the employee should notify their supervisor or manager. Departments shall then designate a temporary lactation room.
- Lactation Room Requirements:
- Each lactation room shall:
1. Not be a bathroom;
2. Be shielded from view;
3. Be free from intrusion while the employee is expressing milk;
4. Be safe safe, clean and free of hazardous materials;
5. Contain a surface to place a breast pump and personal items;
6. Contain a place to sit; and
7. Have access to electricity or another way to power a breast pump (e.g. an extension cord or generator).
- Priority in multi-purpose rooms: Sometimes a lactation room can be a multipurpose room. However, the use of such room for the expression of milk by County employees shall take precedence over all other uses. Employees using such rooms for purposes other than the expression of milk are required to vacate the room whenever it is needed for the expression of milk.
- Sink and Refrigerator: Employees shall be provided with access to a sink with running water and a refrigerator suitable for storing milk in close proximity to the employee’s workspace. The sink and refrigerator are not required to be in the lactation room but can be if feasible.
- If an employee believes their department has failed to comply with this policy or any legal requirements related to lactation accommodation, the employee may file a complaint with:
- Their immediate supervisor, manager, or department head; or
- The County ADA Manager; or
- The California Labor Commissioner’s Office
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