Do you employ women? Are any of these women new moms?
New legislation signed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee on June 30 requires all workplaces to comply with the nation’s strongest rules for supporting nursing moms beginning in 2018.
The 2017 Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance, authored by Supervisor Katy Tang, mandates, as of January 1, 2018, a workplace policy on lactation accommodation, including employee breaks, a location that is not a bathroom but has access to a sink and a refrigerator and required tenant improvements to facilitate lactation. The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement will monitor compliance and can impose a fine of $500 for each violation plus $50 per day per person who is affected by the non-compliance, so get your lactation rooms ready! The benefits of breastfeeding for babies and their mothers are clearly evident in the research. Antibodies in breast milk provide babies protection from infections, obesity, diabetes, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and nursing moms have reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, depression, and osteoporosis.
Like breastfeeding, parental bonding benefits both the newest family members and parents. Insufficient parental bonding can lead to negative cognitive, social, and emotional development by children and increased stress, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy experienced by parents. The 2016 Paid Parental Leave for Bonding with New Child Ordinance makes San Francisco the first jurisdiction in the country to provide fully paid parental leave. Up until now, the state government provided up to 55% wage replacement for up to 6 weeks. However, many low wage workers could not make ends meet with just 55% wage replacement so, instead, opted not to take parental leave at all, missing key time to bond with their newest family members. Now, thanks to this new ordinance, authored by then Supervisor Scott Wiener, workers enjoy 100% wage replacement for up to 6 weeks, with employers required to make up the difference. The Ordinance was effective on January 1, 2017 for San Francisco employers with 50 or more employees, July 1, 2017 for employers with 35 or more employees, and on January 1, 2018 for employers with 30 or more employees.
Learn more about policies and programs that support women and families in the workplace by visiting the Department on the Status of Women website.