Resolution would require lactation rooms in new county buildings

Resolution sets standards for lactation rooms in new county buildings

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Worksite lactation rooms will be required in all new San Mateo County-owned buildings in which employees will work as part of a resolution approved by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

Providing private, convenient space and time for nursing workers is already required under California labor codes, but the county resolution requires amenities that exceed state standards. 

The existing California labor codes require all employers to “make reasonable efforts to provide break time to nursing employees.. in a location that is private, not a toilet stall and is in close proximity to the employee’s work area,” the county says.

“In order to further promote the healthy practice of breastfeeding and to enable nursing county employees to do so, all county maintained buildings and future county maintained buildings should include lactation rooms with features and amenities such as access to electricity outlets, sinks, refrigeration, locks, a chair or sofa and a permanent sign outside the lactation room to indicate its location and whether it is currently in use by a nursing employee,” according to the proposed resolution.

Already, the County of San Mateo’s Human Resources Department has exceeded the state mandate for worksite lactation rooms. Through its Employee Wellness Program, 32 county worksites have a lactation room, with 19 designated solely for that purpose, the county said. Read more about the Worksite Lactation Program here.

The resolution points to the important health benefits of breastfeeding as cited by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Breastfeeding has benefits for both mother and child, decreasing “risks in obesity, childhood infections and breast and ovarian cancers,” it states.To view the agenda for Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, go here.