California AB2386 Breastfeeding Discrimination

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AB 2386 looks to extend the definition of “sex” for discrimination purposes under FEHA to include the act of breastfeeding.  “This bill amends existing statutory definition of ‘sex’ under FEHA to include breastfeeding, in order to prevent breastfeeding discrimination in the work place. Consequently, the proposed changes will prevent employers from terminating women for pumping at work after they return from pregnancy disability leave. It will also protect breastfeeding mothers from being discriminated or retaliated against for requesting breastfeeding accommodations by being reassigned to other work, required to work different shifts, requested to take additional leave, or being terminated. Furthermore, the changes would extend FEHA’s sexual harassment protections to breastfeeding mothers. Cal. Gov. Code §12940 (j)(1). The employer could be liable for harassment by its other employees, and agents or supervisors, if the employer knows about the harassing conduct and fails to take immediate corrective actions. Employers may also be liable for breastfeeding harassment carried out by non-employees if the employer has control and other legal responsibility over the non-employees conduct. Finally, employers may not use a woman’s desire to breastfeed in the workplace as a factor in making hiring, promotion or demotion decisions. ” ~ comments from the AB 2386