Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill by Assemblyman Michael Allen that adds breastfeeding as a protected right in the workplace, similar to pregnancy-related medical conditions.

Assembly Bill 2386 codifies a 2009 decision by the Fair Employment Housing Commission that ruled in favor of a woman who was fired for breastfeeding her infant during her lunch break.

"This bill will better ensure that breastfeeding or lactating women are not harassed by employers or fellow employees for exercising their rights in the workplace," Allen, D-Santa Rosa, said in a statement.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, existing law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation.

The newly signed bill amends the existing definition to include breastfeeding as a protected activity.

The bill was sparked by a 2009 Fair Employment and Housing Commission decision that found an employer who fired an employee for nursing her infant during her lunch break had denied the employee a right to a discrimination-free work environment.