Amazon Sued for Failing to Accommodate Pumping for Breast Milk

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A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court by an Amazon employee from Riverside County alleges that the corporation has failed to provide adequate accommodations for mothers to pump breast milk to feed their babies.

According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Fernanda Torres filed a lawsuit for herself and her colleagues. They claim Amazon has violated the Labor Code at its Beaumont order fulfillment center. The workers are seeking unspecified damages.

Alleged Violation of Labor Laws in Amazon Breast Milk Dispute

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges Amazon failed to provide reasonable break times and locations for female employees to pump breast milk.

Torres was the mother of a 5-month-old infant whom she was breastfeeding when she began working at the Amazon warehouse in August 2021. On her first day of work, Torres was told there were adequate lactation facilities but soon discovered that wasn’t the case, the lawsuit states.

Torres said that the 640,000-square-foot warehouse employs more than 1,000 people and dedicates one single 6-by-6-square-foot space for lactating employees, which is more than a 10-minute walk from most workstations. The lawsuit alleges that employees are allowed only five-minute breaks, which are not even enough for moms to walk to the lactation space.

Torres also said she was told if she went more than five minutes for a bathroom or rest break, her pay would be docked. As a result, the lawsuit states that she had to pump during her meal break to avoid such penalties. She could still not pump because of long lines during the 30-minute lunch breaks.

The lawsuit alleges other employees at the facility have also encountered this problem. Torres said she informed human resources several times about this issue but that it wasn’t remedied.

What the Laws State

Federal law requires employers to provide nursing employees with “reasonable” breaks to express breast milk for up to one year after the birth of a child. Employees must be provided with a private place other than a bathroom that is protected from view or intrusion by coworkers or the public. In 2002, California’s legislature enacted laws making it mandatory for all employers to provide breaks and other accommodations to nursing employees.

If you believe your employer is violating your rights or if your employer is violating federal or state labor codes, you must seek the counsel of an experienced California employment lawyer who will help fight for you and make sure you receive justice and fair compensation for your losses.


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