Senate Bill 1479 Authored by Senator Garcia
While a teacher’s aide, as an hourly employee, is given time and a place to express milk, salaried teachers are not always supported, leaving many forced to choose between their jobs and breastfeeding. SB 1479 will require school districts to support all educators.
Problem: Breastfeeding teachers lacking support to express milk (pump) at work are at risk of several health issues, as well as forced cessation of breastfeeding. While some schools do support working mothers who need to express milk, others do not.
SB 1479 closes the loophole for salaried educators
- Hourly employees are covered by Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act and are entitled to breaks for milk expression. Salaried employees (including teachers) are exempt from Section 7 of the FLSA, and therefore do not receive the same protections afforded to hourly employees (including teacher’s aides).
- Under SB 1479, school districts must provide reasonable breaks and a location for an employee to express breastmilk at the workplace.
Benefits for Families
Pumping to mimic a baby’s schedule maintains supply, helps protect mothers from painful breast infections, reduces missed work and unnecessary expenses due to a child’s illness, and reduces excess expenditures from purchasing artificial milk. This is in addition to the many other health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child.
Benefits for Employers
- Employees are more likely to return to work and maintain attendance.
- Breastfed infants have reduced healthcare costs that result in lower medical insurance claims and premiums.
Benefits for Students
- Teachers miss less work, meaning fewer interruptions in learning for children.
- Reduced turnover also translates to fewer disruptions in learning.