We are pleased to announce that the California School Board Association has recently completed a lactation accommodation policy for school employees. Below is an article from the CSBA newsletter which discusses the policy.
Lactation accommodation policy supports Surgeon General’s “Call to Action”
State and federal law requires employers to provide time and an appropriate place for employees who are nursing mothers to express breast milk for their infant children. Nevertheless, a national study conducted in 2009 found that only a quarter of employers surveyed had lactation programs or made special accommodations for breastfeeding. In fact, the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding (2011) reports that employed mothers typically find that returning to work is a significant barrier to breastfeeding: Employed women are less likely to initiate breastfeeding and tend to breastfeed for a shorter length of time than women who are not employed. The Call to Action describes specific steps that employers, health care providers and others can take to participate in a society-wide approach to support breastfeeding.
“Accommodating mothers so that they can continue to feed breast milk to their children after returning to work is an extremely important economic and public health issue,” says Anne Kashiwa, workplace lactation policy coordinator for San Diego’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a federally funded program addressing obesity prevention and helping worksites, schools and school districts adopt and implement lactation policies. “This not only affects California school staff, but the children who will soon be entering school.”
Kashiwa points out that breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk for obesity, infections and illnesses among children. It also benefits businesses and schools by lowering employee turnover rates and absenteeism, lowering health costs, and increasing employee productivity and morale.
CSBA has developed a new sample policy, BP 4033 – Lactation Accommodation, to ensure that LEAs are aware of the legal requirements pertaining to lactation accommodation. LEAs are encouraged to tailor the policy and develop administrative regulations as necessary to meet their unique needs. CSBA is also monitoring the development of final guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the implementation of federal law on this topic. At this point, the Department expects to provide guidance, but not regulations, addressing these matters.
To review the policy itself, please visit: the CSBA Policy Advisory and Briefs page under the “Employees” section.
For more information, please contact Healthy Works Workplace Lactation Specialist Anne Kashiwa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erica Salcuni | Coordinator | San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative
facilitated by Community Health Improvement Partners
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