Breastfeeding School Reports and Laws for Schools

New from BreastfeedLA and the California Women’s Law Center!

Lactation 101: Lactation Accommodations in Los Angeles County Higher Education

Download the report here

BreastfeedLA and California Women’s Law Center ( have prepared a report regarding the state of lactation accommodations in the colleges and universities of Los Angeles County. 107 institutions of higher learning were studied to determine compliance with basic requirements for ensuring that the rights of both students and employees are being protected. Only 4 institutions met four or more of the 5 recommendations, and 42 schools (39%) failed to meet any of the recommendations. Funding from First5 LA  made this project possible.

A Model Policy for University/College Lactation Accommodations is available here.





The ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), BreastfeedLA (The Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles) and the California Women’s Law Center released a report entitled ABC’s of Breastfeeding in Los Angeles County School Districts showing that 68 of the county’s 81 school districts received a grade of “C” or worse, and 21 received an “F” or “F-minus.”

ABCs-Breastfeeding-LA-County-School-DistrictsDownload Report

The Torrance Unified School District is the only one to receive an “A”.

“State and federal law require school districts to provide employees and students with accommodations that allow them to continue breastfeeding after the birth of their babies,” said Melissa Goodman, Director, LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project at ACLU So Cal.

And state law was strengthened earlier this month when Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 302 making it “crystal clear” the duties schools owe to lactating students, she said. Districts now must make sure they are in compliance with this new law, she added, and develop clear complaint processes and provide staffers to handle lactation-related problems and complaints.

The report card graded school districts based on whether their overall policies are easily accessible. The survey also checked whether districts have clear policies governing pregnant and parenting students, a student policy that includes lactation accommodation—time and space to pump milk, other than a toilet stall–and an identifiable Title IX Coordinator on staff.

Despite these clear legal obligations, Palmer said, “Our organizations have received many complaints and questions from parenting employees and students who do not know their lactation rights, have faced difficulties when they need to pump milk on the job or during the school day, and do not know who to turn to within the school community for help.”

Those complaints prompted BreastfeedLA to do a survey to determine how many school districts in the county have clear and accessible lactation policies and Title IX Coordinators.

Only a third of school districts had lactation accommodation policies for employees, and only 17 percent had lactation accommodations policies for students. Only 23 percent had an easily identifiable Title IX Coordinator, a designated person districts must have who can ensure compliance with laws that require lactation accommodations and handle lactation-related complaints.

The report card also provides school districts with practical tips and tools for meeting their legal requirements and supporting breastfeeding employees and students, including implementing the new state law Gov. Brown signed.

Along with the report card, the organizations also released legal resources spelling out federal and state law on lactation accommodations.

Laws requiring school districts to accommodate and not discriminate against lactating employees and students.

Download this reference (PDF)



Federal Laws

Title IX

20 U.S.C. § 1681

Prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds. Requires that pregnant students and those recovering from childbirth-related conditions be provided with the same accommodations and support services available to other students with similar temporary medical needs.

34 C.F.R. § 106.40(b)(1)

Prohibits discrimination against students based on parental status, pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from childbirth and related conditions.

Guidance Document

Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (2013)
Explains students’ legal right to lactation accommodations under Title IX. Encourages schools to designate a private room for young mothers to breastfeed, express breast milk, or address other needs related to breastfeeding during the school day.

Fair Labor Standards Act/Affordable Care Act

29 U.S.C. § 207(r)

Requires employers to provide lactating mothers with breaks and a private location (other than a restroom) to express breast milk.

Title VII/Pregnancy Discrimination Act

42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k)

Prohibits sex discrimination in employment.  Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Requires women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, as other persons with temporary medical conditions.

29 C.F.R. § 1604.10

Requires women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions be treated the same for all employment-related purposes, as other persons with temporary medical conditions.

Guidance Document

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (2015)
Explains that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on lactation and breastfeeding. Lactating mothers must get the same type of accommodations given to employees with other similar temporary medical needs.

California Laws

California Education Code/California Sex Equity in Education Act

Cal. Ed. Code § 201

Schools have an affirmative obligation to combat sexism, other forms of bias, and to provide equal educational opportunity to all students.

Cal. Ed. Code § 220

Prohibits schools that receive support from the state from discriminating based on sex, and provides that all persons in public schools, regardless of their gender, gender identity, or gender expression have equal rights and opportunities in their educational institution.

Cal. Ed. Code § 222 (new, added by AB 302)

Schools shall provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breast-feed an infant child, or address other needs related to breast-feeding.  Reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to, (1) giving lactating students access to a private, secure room with a power source to deal with any needs associated with breastfeeding or expressing milk, (2) allowing lactating students to bring a breast pump to school and store expressed milk, (3) giving lactating students reasonable break time or time away from the classroom to accommodate their lactation schedule without incurring an academic penalty and with the ability to make up any work missed, and (4) processing student complaints about lactation accommodations through the Uniform Complaint Process (UCP).

5 Cal. Code Regs. § 4950

Prohibits schools from discriminating based on a student’s pregnancy, childbirth, or recovery therefrom.  Prohibits schools from applying any rule concerning a student’s actual or potential parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently on the basis of sex.

Unruh Civil Rights Act

Cal. Civil Code § § 51(b), (e)(5)

Prohibits sex discrimination in public accommodations, which includes schools. Defines sex to include pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

California Labor Code

Cal. Labor Code § 1030

Requires every employer to provide lactating mothers with reasonable break time to express breast milk.

Cal. Labor Code § 1031

Requires every employer to provide lactating mothers with a private location (other than a toilet stall), near the employee’s work area, in order to express breast milk.

California Government Code

Cal. Gov. Code § 12940, Cal. Gov. Code § 12926(r)

Prohibits employers from engaging in sex discrimination. Sex is defined to include breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.

Cal. Gov. Code § 12945

Requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee who has a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

Cal. Gov. Code § 11135

Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any program or activity conducted, operated, administered or funded by the state.

2 Cal. Code Regs. §§ 7291.2(d), (u)

Makes clear that the pregnancy-related accommodations that employers must provide include lactation accommodations.

Breastfeeding Rights

Cal. Civil Code § 43.3

Provides that women have the right to breastfeed in any public or private location where they are otherwise allowed to be present.
  • California Department of Public Health

    New In-Hospital Breastfeeding Data.

    Read more here!

  • Healthcare

    The Regional Hospital Breastfeeding Consortium (RHBC) meetings to provide ongoing support and guidance for staff from participating hospitals. Learn more

  • LA Convention Center-Breastfeeding Friendly!

    Learn more here.

Menu Title