California Breastfeeding Laws


In 1997 the State of California enacted Code § 43.3 allowing nursing mothers the right to breastfeed their children anywhere in the state with the exception being at the request of another within their private residence. Taking protection for nursing mothers to the next level, California also has clear-cut breastfeeding laws in place for specific public places such as airports. The city of San Francisco has recently enacted their own policies to ensure breastfeeding rights for nursing mothers within city limits. California as also enacted several laws at a statewide level aimed at providing nursing mothers with more comfort at work. 

California Breastfeeding Laws in Public

Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. (AB 157)



Public airports of specified flight volume shall provide a room or other location at each airport terminal behind the airport security screening area for members of the public to express breast milk in private. The room shall be outside the confines of a restroom and include a minimum of one chair and an electrical outlet.

ARTICLE 6. Airports [50470 - 50479]


California Breastfeeding Laws at Work

Cal. Labor Code § 1030 et seq. (2001) provides that employers need to allow a break and provide a room for a mother who desires to express milk in private.


Cal. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 155 (1998) encourages the state and employers to support and encourage the practice of breastfeeding by striving to accommodate the needs of employees, and by ensuring that employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding and expressing milk for their children. The resolution memorializes the governor to declare by executive order that all state employees be provided with adequate facilities for breast feeding and expressing milk.


San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco Department provides of Lactation in the Workplace Policy for City employees. The policy mandates that breastfeeding employees receive a reasonable break time time to express milk upon their return to work from maternity leave and a lactation space that is not a toilet. The lactation space must be a clean and comfortable space free from intrusion and equipped with an electrical outlet.

Lactation in the Workplace Policy

Request for Lactation Accommodation


San Francisco has expanded their existing protections for nursing mothers with the Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance. The Ordinance applies to all private employers in San Francisco, and requires employers to provide a lactation area that is clean, contains a chair and surface for a breast pump, and has access to electricity. 

San Francisco Approves New Protections for Nursing Mothers in the Workplace