Latest Blog

San Francisco Employers: New Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance

(posted: July 24th, 2017)

New SF ordinance

Recently, San Francisco passed the "Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance", increasing protections for nursing mothers working in San Francisco. It will take effect January 1, 2018, and applies to anyone employed within the "geographic boundaries" of San Francisco.

This ordinance builds upon California and federal law regarding lactation in the workplace. California law already requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate employees and make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a room, not a bathroom stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, to express milk in private.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for one year after the child's birth and in a place, not a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public.

Lactation Rooms
The new San Francisco ordinance goes further and requires that the room provided be safe, clean and free of toxic or hazardous materials, requires that it have a place to put a breast pump and other personal items, have a place to sit and that there is access to electricity. The room also should have a refrigerator and a sink. It may be used for multiple purposes, but employees must clearly understand that lactation takes precedence over other uses for the room.

Lactation Accommodation Policy
The new law requires that every employer maintain a written lactation accommodation policy.

The policy must include the following:

  • A statement of the right to request a lactation accommodation.
  • How an employee may submit a request.
  • Requirement that the employer respond to any such request for accommodation within 5 business days.
  • Requirement that the employer and employee to engage in an interactive process to determine the appropriate accommodations.
  • Note that if the employer does not provide the accommodation, the employer must provide a written response which identifies the basis for denial of the request.
  • Notice that retaliation in response to a request is prohibited.

The policy must be distributed upon hire, included in any handbook and must be provided to any employee who inquires about or requests pregnancy or parental leave.

Recordkeeping
Employers will be required to maintain a record of employee requests for lactation accommodations for three years. The record must include the employee's name, the date of the request, and a description of how the employer addressed the request.

Undue Hardship Exemption
Employers may be exempt from the ordinance if its requirements would impose an undue hardship on the employer. Examples of an undue hardship may include performing construction to comply, removing seating from a restaurant, or removing retail floor space.

The new ordinance takes effect January 1, 2018, which does not give you a lot of preparation time. As an employer in San Francisco, you will want to start updating your handbooks and notices now, and finding or creating a lactation room space, if you do not already have a suitable place designated.

Please Contact us for assistance with handbooks and notices.

close form

Blog Feedback Form

first name: last:

Email Address and Last Name are required for security ONLY they do NOT appear with your post.

Allow 10 minutes between posts.

All post are subject to moderation.

email:

feedback (2000 chars):

Subscribe me to KLR's Business Growth Report E-Newletter

Close
Login to HRSPI Client Portal
Username:
Password:
Forgotten PasswordForgot Password
Executive Search Executive Search

Harrassment Prevention

HRSPI offers comprehensive, interactive, AB1825-Compliant training. Programs include introduction to recent anti-bullying legislation.

Latest News

News Archives

Latest Blog

Blog Archives