Employment and Workplace
Accommodations for Nursing Mothers
The University of Southern California demonstrates its support of working parents in many ways, including generous leave policies for new parents, subsidized child care programs, and other policies and resources designed to enhance work-life balance throughout the life of a family. Accommodations also are provided for new mothers who wish to continue nursing their children when they return to work.
Providing an Appropriate Location
Supervisors must ensure that faculty and staff are provided with an appropriate space for breast-feeding or the expressing of milk. Accommodations for a place for employees to breast-feed or pump breast milk must meet requirements under California state law. For this purpose, every effort must be made to provide a private space, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area. Appropriate locations would include the faculty or staff employee's own private office, the private office of a supervisor or co-worker, a break room, or an available lounge or conference room with a locking door. It would not be appropriate to direct the faculty or staff employee to a room that includes a toilet, a room in another building, or any other room lacking privacy and a locking door. Arrangements also should be made to provide for temporary storage of the milk. Departments are encouraged to identify appropriate facilities in advance.
If a school or department builds new space or remodels existing office space for faculty or staff, those planning the space are expected to consider the need for a space that would be appropriate for use in meeting these requirements for accommodating the needs of employees who are nursing mothers. The space does not need to be exclusively set aside for this purpose, but available as needed.
Flexible Break Times
Nursing mothers must request and arrange with their supervisor appropriate and reasonable break times for breast-feeding or expressing breast milk. Supervisors should attempt to provide as much schedule flexibility as reasonably possible to accommodate their needs. For non-exempt staff, if possible, the break time for breast-feeding or expressing milk should run concurrently with the rest periods already provided. If additional break time is needed, that time will be unpaid for non-exempt employees.
Additional resources and breast-feeding support are available from the Center for Work and Family Life at (213) 821-0800. Individuals who believe this policy may have been violated should contact the Office of Equity and Diversity at (213) 740-5086.
Human Resources Administration
Chrysostomos L. Nikias, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President for Administration
University of Southern California