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2018 Policy Agenda
SB 937 – Lactation Accommodations (Wiener and Leyva): Requires a lactation room or location to include prescribed features and would require an employer to provide access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee’s work space. Would establish a procedure for an employer with fewer than 5 employees to apply to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for an undue hardship exemption, would require an employer to develop and implement a policy regarding lactation accommodation and make it available, would require an employer to respond to an employee’s request for lactation accommodation, would also require an employer to maintain records of requests for lactation accommodation for 3 years and to give the Labor Commission access to those records. Prohibits an employer from discharging or retaliating against an employee, and establishes specific additional remedies. Requires the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to create a model lactation accommodation policy and a model lactation accommodation request form, and make those models available for download from its Internet Web site by employees and employers. Also requires the adoption of prescribed mandatory building standards for the installation of lactation space for employees in nonresidential buildings newly constructed or remodeled for workplace occupancy, as specified. Introduced January 25, 2018.
Please send in a new letter of support (template SB 937 – Sample Support Letter for Assembly Labor WFCA) to the author’s office via firstname.lastname@example.org and to Assembly Labor Lorie.Alvarez@asm.ca.gov – We need letters by tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13th COB. Also, please come out and support the bill in Assembly Labor next week: Wednesday, June 20th, 1:30pm, Room 447.
AB 1976 – Employer, Lactation Accommodation (Limón): Existing law requires every employer to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child and requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area for the employee to express milk in private. This bill involves language updates and would instead require an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide an employee with use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, for these purposes. Introduced January 31, 2018.
AB 2785 – Student Services, Lactation Accommodations (Rubio): An act to add Section 66271.9 to the Education Code, relating to public post secondary education, this bill would require the California Community Colleges and the California State University to provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating student on respective campuses to express breast milk, breast-feed an infant child, or address other needs related to breast-feeding. Would require that these reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, access to a private and secure room, other than a restroom, to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child, permission to bring onto a school campus any equipment used to express breast milk, and access to a power source for that equipment. Requires that upon the construction of a new campus of the California Community Colleges or the California State University, or the replacement, expansion, or renovation of an existing campus, the respective educational institution to provide a sink, in addition to the accommodations described above, in any room or other location designated to comply with these provisions. Would also require that a lactating student on a college or university campus be given a reasonable amount of time to accommodate the need to express breast milk or breast-feed an infant child, prohibit students from incurring an academic penalty as a result of their use of these reasonable accommodations. Authorizes a complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of the bill to be filed with the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and the California State University, as applicable, in accordance with specified procedures, and, if the complaint is found to have merit, would require the respective chancellor to provide a remedy to the affected student. By imposing additional duties on community college districts, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. Introduced February 16, 2018.
AB 2507 – Breastfeeding Support in Jails (Jones-Sawyer): Would require each county sheriff to develop and implement an infant and toddler breast milk feeding policy for lactating inmates detained in or sentenced to a county jail that is based on currently accepted best practices. The bill would require the policy to include provisions for, among other things, procedures for providing medically appropriate support and care related to the cessation of lactation or weaning and for conditioning an inmate’s participation in the program upon the inmate undergoing drug screening. The bill would require the policy to be posted in the jail, as specified, and to be communicated to all staff persons who interact with or oversee pregnant or lactating inmates. Introduced February 14, 2018.
2017 Policy Agenda
Supporting Working Moms Act (S. 2122): Expands the requirement that employers provide reasonable break time and private, non-bathroom place for workers to express breast milk while at work. Current law does not cover millions of salaried employees, including teachers. Introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
Friendly Airports for Mothers Act (S. 1110): Requires all large and medium hub airports to provide a private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for public use to express breast milk. Introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Stephen Knight (R-CA).
Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (H.R. 1174): Requires all public buildings to provide a private, non-bathroom space for public use to express breast milk. Introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
SB62 (Jackson) Expanding Definition of “Family Member” to allow employees of companies with 50 or more employees to take time off up to 12 weeks to care for sick family members without fear of losing their jobs. California’s Paid Family Leave Program is an employee-funded program which already provides this protection, and SB62 will allow employees to utilize this job protection when taking time off to care for sick family members including child, parent, spouse/domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, or adult child. Status: suspended until further notice.
2017 Policy Achievements
SB63 (Jackson) New Parent Leave Act Including Employees of Smaller Businesses which employ 20 or more individuals in the eligibility afforded by California’s PFL Program for 12 weeks of job-protected leave after the birth or adoption of a child. This would expand this benefit to a significant number of Californians who were previously ineligible simply because they worked for a small business. These protections help families make the adjustments required to build health and relationships before resuming work outside the home after the birth or adoption of a baby or child. Status: Signed into law October 12, 2017.
2016 Policy Achievements
BABES Act (Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act) Critical legislation for traveling families has been passed unanimously through both houses of Congress and is on its way to the President to be signed into law! The bill would require the TSA to provide ongoing training to ensure its officers consistently enforce TSA Special Procedures related to breast milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment across all airport security checkpoints. Status: Signed into law by President Obama, Dec 16, 2016.
AB 908 (Gomez) Paid Family Leave. Provides greater economic security and equity in California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs by raising the current wage replacement rates to 60-70% on a sliding scale for both programs, extending PFL from six to eight weeks, and eliminating the current waiting period when applying for PFL benefits. Status: passed 4/11/16.
2016 Policy Agenda
AB 2589 (Gomez) Bringing Breastfeeding Home Act. The bill Requires the State Departments of Public Health and Health Care Services to coordinate, through a stakeholder engagement process, to do the following:
– Improve the process for WIC eligibility and application enrollment via Medi-Cal and Covered California enrollment.
– Establish measures and outcomes for breastfeeding, including initiation, duration, exclusivity and ethnic disparities.
– Develop minimum breast pump and accessory equipment standards for the provision of appropriate and effective breast pumps and accessories in all health plans, and review the current reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment related to breastfeeding including any potential need to modify the reimbursement rates. Status: pending, 6/27 referred to Committee on Appropriations.
SB 654 (Jackson, amended) New Parent Leave Act. SB 654 would provide job protection to new parents taking time to bond with a child – birth, adoption, or foster. Studies show that parental bonding is key to the health, development, and well-being of children. All parents should have the right to take this time without fear of losing their job but over 40% of workers are not covered by laws that protect their jobs while on bonding leave. And too many parents are forced to go back to work and find child care too soon after a birth or adoption. SB 654 would allow most California parents to take up to 6 weeks of job protected leave to bond with a new child. Status: 8/30 passed Assembly; vetoed by Gov. Brown.
SB 1316 (Wolk), a recently introduced bill that establishes clear and ethical standards for an emerging biotech industry that utilizes human milk. This bill would require for-profit human milk banks to fully disclose information to mothers they recruit regarding the purposes for which their milk will be used, and to avoid using the terms “donor” and “community benefit” to characterize their transactions with participating mothers. Status: pending senate approval.
Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act: Introduced by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, FAM act is an aviation bill that requires major airports to provide lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers, a provision pushed by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Requirements include providing a breastfeeding/pumping mother: a space other than a bathroom with a chair, table and electrical outlet. Status: passed Senate 4/19/16, pending House for consideration as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act.
2015 Policy Achievements
AB 302 (Garcia) Pupil Services – lactation accommodations, respects and upholds the rights and educational opportunities of pregnant and parenting pupils, including providing lactation accommodations. Status: approved 10/2015.
2014 Policy Achievements
California State Legislation
AB 1787 – Lactation Accommodations in Airports – This first-in-the nation law mandates appropriate space in airports for women to express breastmilk.
2013 Policy Achievements
Gov. Brown has signed SB 252, which allows CalWORKS participants who voluntarily participate in Maternal Child Home Visitation programs to satisfy their Welfare-to-Work requirements, as well as reinforces a women’s right to breastfeed publically in all County welfare offices. Press Release
2012 Policy Achievements
AB 2386 has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown! (See Breastfeeding Laws!) Breastfeeding is a Civil Right in California!
SB 502: Hospital Infant Feeding Protection Act – (De León and Pavley)
Effective January 1, 2014, requires all hospitals with perinatal units to have an infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding. This policy is to be based on the Baby-Friendly USA policy or the Department of Public Health’s Model Policies. Both policies encourage breastfeeding in hospital settings. The policy must be routinely communicated to staff working on a perinatal unit.