Whether you’re a working mom with an infant or simply curious, you may want to know what a lactation room is.
A lactation room in its simplest form is a private space where a nursing mother can express breast milk for her baby. … Additionally, employers must give breastfeeding mothers appropriate breaks from their workday in order to travel to the lactation room and take the time needed to pump milk.
The federal Affordable Care Act 2010, require employers to provide lactation breaks for new mothers. In 1998, the California legislature passed a resolution encouraging all California employers to accommodate the needs of breastfeeding employees by ensuring that employees would have adequate facilities for breastfeeding or expressing milk for their children. In 2002, the legislature enacted labor code laws to accomplish this goal, making it mandatory for all employers to provide breaks and other accommodations to nursing employees. (Cal. Labor Code sec 1030-1033) California employers must make reasonable efforts to provide nursing employees with a private room or space, other than a toilet stall, in which to express breast milk. This space must be close to the employee’s work area. If the nursing employee’s workspace meets these requirements (such as a private office), this requirement is satisfied.
Which companies need lactation rooms?
Most of them! An employer must make reasonable efforts to provide an employee with a private place near her work area where she can express breast milk. An employee’s normal work area can qualify if it’s private, but bathroom stalls do not. The room must be in close proximity to the employee’s work area.
According to AIA best practices on lactation room design
Lactation rooms should provide, at a minimum, a lockable door; a work surface and chair; a small utility-type sink in or adjacent to the room; storage for cleaning supplies and paper towels; adequate HVAC service (preferably with a thermostat); and well-placed (surface height) electrical outlets. An above surface electrical connection (island type) with G.F.I. will prevent problems with spilled liquids.
A comfortable chair with a straight back, with a surface for the pump and an additional work surface big enough for a laptop works is the basic accommodation. A standing option with a stool to perch on and a counter-height work surface has also proved popular with employees. We have also found that providing Wi-Fi or data hookup is very useful. The room(s) can be scheduled using whatever system schedules conference rooms.
If you need help with outfitting your office with a lactation room, give us a call.
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