July 20, 2022
Returning to the office after maternity leave is difficult. In addition to being out of the office for months, you need to adjust to a new workflow while balancing breastfeeding. To help with that transition, your employee must provide accommodations. To understand your rights, the attorneys at Para Los Trabajadores explain what your employer must do and whether you are entitled to receive payments when taking time off to breastfeed.
Break times for breastfeeding
Your employer is not under the obligation to compensate you for time spent exclusively breastfeeding or expressing milk. However, if your employee already offers you paid general breaks, you can use that time. In other words, if your employer already gives you ten-minute breaks, but it takes you fifteen minutes to get milk, your employer is not required to pay you for the last five minutes.
Adaptations to consider
Even though your employee is not required to provide compensation for breaks taken to breastfeed or express milk, they are required to provide certain accommodations. The most important is to provide you with a private, safe, clean, and protected room so that you can proceed with the expression in comfort.
Starting January 1, 2020, the room provided by your company must be free from intrusions, whether by supervisors, other co-workers, or the general public. Also, the room should have a place to sit and a power source, so you can plug in an electric pump if needed. Please note that this room cannot be the bathroom.
Lastly, the employer must provide a cooling device for you to store your expressed milk.