Restaurant Fined for Firing Worker Who Was Breastfeeding Baby During Breaks

Fourth Quarter 2009Newsletters California UPDATE Employment Law

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In a decision issued by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission, a Los Angeles taco shop was ordered to pay $46,000 to a female employee who was fired for breast feeding her baby in a car during breaks. The written opinion states: “Ms. Chaves suffered an egregious violation of her civil rights that is not tolerated in California.” DFEH v. Acosta Tacos (DFEH Case No. E200708T-0097-00se). Employers must know that the California Labor Code requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees in their desire to “express breast milk at work” by providing breaks and a private “lactation area.” The Labor Commissioner can assess a civil penalty of $100 per violation.