Procedure 84: Accommodations for Nursing Mothers

Note: The following procedures should be read in conjunction with PPSM 84.

(Effective July 2013)


These procedures outline the roles and responsibilities of the employee and representatives of the university (e.g. the supervisor, department manager, Central Human Resources, unit's Central HR Partner, and/or UHS Breastfeeding Support Program (BFSP) when accommodations for nursing mothers may need to be coordinated.


In accordance with the system-wide policy on Accommodations for Nursing Mothers, Policy 84, the Berkeley campus will make private space and break time available for lactation purposes for nursing mothers, as provided below.

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice to refuse to hire or employ, or to discharge or discriminate, against an employee who breastfeeds or expresses milk in the workplace.

Who is covered:

All employees, including faculty and staff, are covered by this policy.


  1. Definition of appropriate lactation facility:If a private space is not available in the building where the employee works, the campus has lactation rooms that may accommodate the employee. Please note these may be further than a 5-7 minute walk from the mother's work area.
    1. Private, secure space with closeable door - preferably lockable (e.g., private office, unused conference room). Generally, no more than 5-7 minute walk from the nursing mother's work area. Private space does not need to be fully enclosed or permanently assigned, but must be readily available during the time the employee needs the space.
    2. Appropriate signage: The private space is equipped with signage that the room is in use / do not disturb. Temporary signage is acceptable.
    3. Suitable/comfortable chair (preferably with available table space)
    4. Electrical outlet
    5. Good or adequate lighting
    6. Access to a nearby clean, and safe water source
    7. Access to a refrigerator or cooler to store breast milk, when feasible.
    8. NOTE: Toilet stalls and closets are unacceptable. Space that cannot be adequately secured to ensure full privacy is unacceptable.
  2. Role of the Employee:

A nursing mother is encouraged to discuss her accommodation needs with her supervisor to arrange for mutually agreeable break times and identify private space if needed. If accommodations are needed, the employee's responsibilities include:

  1. Contacting immediate supervisor to discuss the need for lactation breaks and/or facilities to identify suitable accommodations which meet all policy requirements.
  2. Contacting the Breastfeeding Support Program (BFSP), as needed, to access one or more of the campus Lactation Rooms, and/or address questions on break times to ensure compliance with this policy.

III. Role of the Supervisor:

  1. Assisting the employee to identify suitable space per the lactation facility description outlined above.

    Every effort should be made to accommodate the employee within a 5-7 minute walk of the employee's work area. If unable to create an appropriate plan for space within relatively close proximity to employee's workspace, refer to the campus BFSP Lactation Rooms to find a suitable, private space. Please note that more time may be needed for lactation breaks to allow for travel time to/from a campus lactation room.

  2. Providing a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate the needs of nursing mothers.

    Supervisors are encouraged to allow flexible scheduling whenever possible to accommodate lactation breaks.

    1. Generally, nursing mothers need 2-3 lactation breaks during an 8 hour work period. A reasonable single break period will not exceed 30 minutes, including time for travel to and from the private lactation space, expressing milk, clean up and storage.
    2. The lactation break period should run concurrently with the nursing mother's existing break period; if that is not possible, the University will make a separate break period available.
  3. Ensuring that a nursing mother knows her legal right to a discriminatory-free employment setting, in accordance with her decision to express milk in the workplace.
  4. Benefits, Services and Support

    UC Berkeley's Breastfeeding Support Program (BFSP) serves faculty, staff, students, and their spouses/domestic partners, as well as employees at UCOP and LBNL.

    Central Human Resources or the unit's Central HR Partner will provide all pertinent information to the employee regarding policies that may apply, (such as Family Medical Leave Act, medical insurance information and an overview of the Breastfeeding Support Program) which support an employee's choice to express milk at work.

    Central Human Resources Office of Policy and Practice should be contacted at 510-643-5463 if problems arise about accommodation of break times; if there appears to be noncompliance, or there are concerns regarding any aspect of this policy.

Resource and Contact Information:

  1. Access to lactation rooms
    • Registration (free) is required for the Breastfeeding Support Program (BFSP): Registration Form (PDF).
      Once registered, a nursing mother will be provided specific lactation room access information to the building location she requests.
  2. Lactation Room Map
  3. Questions
    • Supervisors and nursing mothers may contactCcentral Human Resources at 510-642-7053 for questions about accommodating lactation breaks, or their unit's Central HR Partner.
  4. Breast pumps and other resources