Public Policy and Legal Resources

Supporting breastfeeding through public policy. View and download the pdf here.

2019 Policy Updates

Proposed Senate Legislation

SB 135 – Paid Family Leave  (Jackson): SB 135  will expand job protection to workers at businesses with 5 or more employees. It includes coverage for care for a “designated person,” it expands CFRA to include job-protected time off for qualifying emergency leave. Senate Bill 135 will ensure that nearly all Californians who pay into the Paid Family Leave Program can use it without losing their jobs; that more newborns can receive individual care for their first six months of life, an essential time for early brain development; and that California’s leave laws reflect the state’s diverse, multigenerational families and caregiving needs.  SB-135-Fact-Sheet-3.13. Status: Will be heard in Senate Labor on April 10th, 2019.

SB 142 – Employees: Lactation Accommodation  (Wiener) and (Gonzalez): SB 142 will ensure working mothers have access to lactation facilities in the workplace, and help create more family friendly work environments. Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) re-introduced a bill to support women in the workplace by requiring lactation facilities and resources be provided to employees in California. Senate Bill 142 is modeled off of Senator Wiener’s SB 937 from 2018, which passed the Legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Brown. SB 142 requires businesses to provide safe and clean lactation facilities for their workers that meet minimum requirements, requires that lactation facilities be built in new construction, and ensures employees receive written information about their rights to a safe and comfortable lactation space at work. Status: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on JUD. (Ayes 4. Noes 1.) (March 27). Re-referred to Com. on JUD. Hearing set for 4/9/19.

SB 388 – Breastfeeding: Breast Pumps (Galliani) : Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to promote the breastfeeding of infants in its public service campaign. Existing law vests authority for enforcing state laws governing health care service plans in the Department of Managed Health Care. This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would provide that infant feeding of breast milk should be encouraged and that would require health care service plans to provide reimbursement for the widest variety of choices and styles of breast milk pumps to facilitate their use and acceptance. The bill would express the further intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would give the Department of Managed Health Care the authority to require health care service plans to provide that reimbursement under a specified condition. Status: 2/28/2019 – Referred to Senate Com. on RLS.

Proposed Assembly Legislation

AB 372 – State Employees: Infant at Work Programs (Voepel):  Existing law establishes various employment protections to promote parent-infant bonds and infant health. The Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, or California Family Rights Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, as defined, to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to care for a child born to, adopted by, or placed for foster care with, the employee. The New Parent Leave Act prohibits an employer, as defined, from refusing to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. Other existing law requires both public and private employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time, and make reasonable efforts to provide a private location, for expressing breast milk, as prescribed.

This bill would authorize a state agency, as defined, to adopt an Infant at Work program to allow an employee of the agency who is a new parent or caregiver to an infant to bring the infant to the workplace. The bill would establish certain required elements for such a program. The bill would authorize a state agency to adopt regulations that it determines necessary to establish the program. The bill would prohibit a state agency from adopting the program in circumstances that are inappropriate based on safety, health, or other concerns for the infant or adult, as specified. Status: Referred to Com. on P.E. & R. 4/3/2019:  In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

AB 732 – County Jails: Pregnant Inmates (Bonta) Co-authors: (Limón), (Mitchell), (Weber): Existing law places county jails under the jurisdiction of the sheriff for the confinement of persons sentenced to imprisonment for the conviction of a crime. Existing law gives an inmate who is pregnant in a local detention facility the right to summon and receive the services of a physician or surgeon to determine if the inmate is pregnant and to receive medical services. Existing law requires the Board of State and Community Corrections to establish minimum standards for local correctional facilities to require that inmates who are received by the facility while they are pregnant are provided a balanced, nutritious diet approved by a doctor, prenatal and postpartum information and healthcare, information pertaining to childbirth education and infant care, and a dental cleaning. Existing law requires that these standards also prohibit the restraining of an inmate known to be pregnant or in recovery after delivery, except as specified.

This bill would require an inmate of a county jail who is identified as possibly pregnant during an intake health examination to be scheduled for laboratory work to verify pregnancy within 3 business days of arrival at the jail. The bill would require an inmate who is confirmed to be pregnant to be scheduled for an obstetrics examination within 7 days. The bill would require pregnant inmates to be scheduled for prenatal care visits, as specified. The bill would require pregnant inmates to be provided specified prenatal services and a referral to a medical social worker. The bill would require inmates to be given access to community-based programs serving pregnant, birthing, or lactating inmates. The bill would allow a pregnant inmate to elect to have a support person present during childbirth. The bill would require an inmate to be provided with a postpartum examination one week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks postpartum. By imposing new duties on county jails, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. Status:  Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 8. Noes 0.) 3/26/19. Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

AB 752 – Public Transit: Transit Center Lactation Rooms (Gabriel): This bill would require a multimodal transit station that has a public restroom and that commences operations or a renovation on or after January 1, 2021, to include a lactation room. To the extent the bill imposes additional duties on a local agency, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above. Status: 3/25/19 Re-referred to Com. on TRANS.

AB 5 – Worker Status: Independent Contractors (Gonzalez):

Existing law, as established in the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex), creates a presumption that a worker who performs services for a hirer is an employee for purposes of claims for wages and benefits arising under wage orders issued by the Industrial Welfare Commission. Existing law requires a 3-part test, commonly known as the “ABC” test, to establish that a worker is an independent contractor for those purposes.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to codify the decision in the Dynamex case and clarify its application. The bill would provide that the factors of the “ABC” test be applied in order to determine the status of a worker as an employee or independent contractor for all provisions of the Labor Code, unless another definition or specification of “employee” is provided. The bill would codify existing exemptions for specified professions that are not subject to wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission or the ruling in the Dynamex case. The bill would state that its provisions do not constitute a change in, but are declaratory of, existing law. The Labor Code makes it a crime for an employer to violate specified provisions of law with regard to an employee. By expanding the definition of an employee for purposes of these provisions, the bill would expand the definition of a crime.

Contract workers don’t have rights to Lactation accommodations but, if they are classified incorrectly and should be employees, then they have rights to accommodations and this bill would resolve this issue. Status: 4/4/19 From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 5. Noes 0.). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

AB 45 – Inmates: Medical Care Fees (Stone) & (Jones-Sawyer) with Coauthors (Chiu), (Kalra) & (Wiener): Existing law authorizes the Director of Corrections to charge a $5 fee for each inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in the state prison, except under specified circumstances, and requires that the moneys received be expended to reimburse the department for direct provision of inmate health care services. Existing law also authorizes a sheriff, chief or director of corrections, or chief of police to charge a $3 fee for each inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in a county or city jail, except as specified, and requires that the moneys received be transferred to the county or city general fund. Existing law also authorizes a county or city to recover from an inmate or a person legally responsible for the inmate’s care the costs of necessary medical care rendered to the inmate, under certain conditions.

This bill would instead prohibit the director or a sheriff, chief or director of corrections, or chief of police from charging a fee for an inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate of the state prison or a county or city jail, and would make a conforming change. The bill would also prohibit those officials from charging an inmate of the state prison or a city or county jail a fee for durable medical equipment or medical supplies, as defined. Status: From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 6. Noes 1.) (2/ 26/19). Re-referred to Com. on APPR. (3/6/19) In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to suspense file.

State Budget Request

Low Quality Breast Pumps Put California Children’s Health at Risk
Medi-Cal Rate Increase for Breast Pumps and Supplies Needed: A modest $7 million annual increase in the Medi-Cal breastfeeding support budget will help ensure all mothers have the opportunity to successfully breastfeed their babies using effective breast pumps, saving Medi-Cal costs in the long run.

* Medi-Cal could realize savings from $405,000 to $940,000 per 100,000 women by providing improved breastfeeding services and support, including high quality breast pumps.

* Access to high quality breast pumps can help lead to optimal breastfeeding rates, which could reduce medical costs related to infant illnesses by $1.6 million per 100,000 women.

* Increased Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for breast pumps will help avoid strains on other providers like WIC, who have become the de facto quality breast pump provider for Medi-Cal recipients.

Low-income women should not be subject to barriers that prevent them from breastfeeding their babies and giving them the best chance for a healthy life.

See the following fact sheet from the California Breastfeeding Coalition and WIC: Breast Pump Funding Fact Sheet from WIC

Requesting Support

Below you will find two support letters penned by WIC to the Senate and Assembly. We ask that you do the following to assist us in our efforts:

1. Send similar letters on your organization’s letterhead

2. Testify with the California Breastfeeding Coalition in Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health (Sub #3) on April 25th and in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health (Sub #1) on May 6th- if your representatives are available.

3. Also cc copies of your letters to robbiegd.cbc@gmail.com and apalmer@breastfeedla.org.

Thanks in advance for your assistance and support!



Proposed Federal Legislation

Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act (H.R. 866):  (Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). This bill will require that certain public buildings that are open to the public and contain a public restroom provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, that is hygienic and is available for use by members of the public to express milk. The lactation room must be shielded from public view, be free from intrusion, and contain a chair, a working surface, and (if the building is supplied with electricity) an electrical outlet. Status: 2/7/19 Has passed the House by voice vote. The House version has been received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

2018 Policy Achievements

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. Status: Signed into law September 30, 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 breastfeed 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 breastfeed 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. Status: Signed into law September 30, 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. Status: Signed into law September 30, 2018.

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.

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

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

 SB 402 (DeLeon) which requires California hospitals to achieve Baby-Friendly Designation or equivalent by 2025. Press Release

SB 252which 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

SB 770, which expands PFL covereage to include caring for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parents-in-law. Press Release

2012 Policy Achievements

AB 2386 has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.  Breastfeeding is a Civil Right in California.

SB 502: Hospital Infant Feeding Protection Act – (De León & Pavley) 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. Effective January 1, 2014.