Effective April 28, 2023, an employer that violates the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act may be required to provide relief in the form of employment, reinstatement, promotion, payment of lost wages and liquidated damages. The PUMP Act was enacted the end of December, 2022, and most workplaces should be familiar with the requirements, including this poster which you will want to tack up in the workplace and disseminate to remote employees, if needed.
To refresh, the PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers) Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by requiring nearly all employers to provide nursing mothers with break time and private space to express milk for up to one year after birth.
The DOL Wage & Hour Division (WHD) Guidance:
- Reasonable breaks as needed to express milk
- Frequency and duration fact specific: age of child, how far away PUMP site is, whether pump and equipment already set up, how long and how often pumping needed
- Telework employees eligible for same breaks
- Must be private, cannot be a bathroom
- Must be a space that can be locked and has blinds or be shielded from view
- Space can be used for other things but must be available to nursing employees when needed
- Must be functional: how many spaces needed? Resources needed to express milk? (Refrigerator? Seating? Lighting? Technology?)
- If not completely relieved of duties, it is not a break and must be paid time
- Employer-provided breaks must be compensated the same as for other employees
Retaliation–Uh, Don’t and…
- Complaint can be oral or in writing
- Any complaint is protected activity
- Interference or discrimination violates FLSA
Your State and Local Laws Not Preempted
- The PUMP Act is the floor, not the ceiling. You may have state or local obligations that exceed this Act: that compliance obligation remains.
- In case you missed it above, here is the Break Time for Nursing Mothers poster.
When to Start?
- Now is best and noncompliant employers get a 10-day grace period to comply with the required accommodations after an employee puts them on notice.
QUESTIONS? We can help.