No, you cannot be demoted for pumping breast milk at work. A demotion is defined as a reassignment to a lower ranking position than one you had before. Getting demoted in a job can be just as emotionally demoralizing as losing a job completely. When you’re demoted you may have to see some of the same people that contributed to your demotion every day, and it can feel like a slap in the face by basically upholding any of your insecurities. However, if your demotion was based on illegal grounds, don’t get down on yourself just yet. A discrimination lawsuit can help you reclaim your authority and our discrimination and wrongful termination lawyers are here for you when you’re ready to take those steps.
As a mother, there are many inherent responsibilities you are forced to take on. Having to work at the same time can be hard. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that employers are prohibited from discriminating against anyone based on their sex, including any pregnancy, childbirth, or medical related conditions under Federal law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was amended to the Civil Rights Act in 1978, was what made the expansion of sex discrimination to include pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. It’s important for you to know your legal rights as a working mother. Under the Nursing Mothers Provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must grant reasonable nursing or breast milk expressing time for up to one year proceeding childbirth. They must also provide a location other than a bathroom stall that is secluded from other employees. Companies this Federal law applies to must have at least 50 employees and have a gross revenue of at least $500,000 a year. Retaliation such as taking away benefits, demotion, or firing is also illegal under this law.
Expressing breast milk is a term used to encompass the any act of releasing breast milk from your breast. This can be done by hand or with the use of a breast pump. The process of making milk in a woman may be as early as 2 months into her pregnancy. There are structural and hormonal changes in the body that allow it to produce milk. Some interesting facts about breast milk are that its contents shift slightly depending on the time of day. At night breast milk contains more tryptophan to encourage sleep. There is foremilk and hindmilk. The foremilk comes out first and is higher in immunity-boosting nutrient, while hindmilk is higher in fats and calories. These two types of breast milk have different consistencies and colors. There are many miraculous aspects of breast milk, it should not be the subject or cause of an illegal employment action.
Can I be let go for pumping breast milk during my meal break?
No, you cannot be fired for pumping breast milk during your lunch break. California Labor Code Sections 1030-1033 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to lactating women. They must provide a reasonable amount of break time for a woman to express breast milk. These breast expression breaks must fall in conjunction with any regular break period laws involving labor. If these breaks do not match with normal paid breaks, then the employer is no required to pay the employee. Employers must work to provide a location, just like under the federal law, is not a bathroom stall and is secluded from other coworkers. If your employer does not grant you lactation breaks, they must pay you an extra hour of your regular wage. For every time there is a violation of this code, the California Labor Commissioner may cite up to $100 in fines. If you were wrongfully terminated for pumping breast milk during meal breaks, contact one of our wrongful termination lawyers immediately.
On average, a mother needs to pump breast milk or breast feed every 2 to 3 hours in order to avoid any kind of pain from engorged breasts. California law requires a break of ten minutes every four hours of working. If you are a lactating employee, you may need additional breaks and times in order curb tenderness from built up breast milk. If the location where you work already aligns with the requirements of the law, then you are allowed to use your current work area.
Can my employer fire me for pumping breast milk at my job?
No, you employer cannot fire you for pumping breast milk at your workplace. If your boss fires you for pumping breast milk, you can sue for wrongful termination. All Federal and State laws prohibit retaliation in response to a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. If your employer fired you for pumping breast milk at work, your rights were violated and you can sue your employer. A termination is a clear type of retaliation, and the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group will help you file a lawsuit against your employer who has broken the law.
I Was Demoted For Pumping Breast Milk at Work
If the unfortunate scenario has already occurred, and your employer has unlawfully retaliated, your fight does not have to be over. You are protected from this action under Title VII and multiple California State laws. Do not let your rights be brushed under the table. If you are a working mother, you deserve to the best representation possible. Even if you are already working with an attorney, we offer a free second opinion to show that you are in our best interest.
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For those who have not begun the process of filing a claim, come to our office today to receive a free consultation. Our best Los Angeles wrongful termination and sex discrimination lawyers want to evaluate your case, and provide as much information for you free of charge. What’s important to us is that you understand your rights and legal obligations. We also want you to know acknowledge the work you put into to raising a family by being a mother and a worker. We do not want to add stress to your already stressful situation, so you do not need to worry about attorney fees. We do not charge anything to take on your case, only if we win, will you be charged a small fee.