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The PUMP Act – Nursing Mothers and the Workplace

    Client Alerts
  • May 18, 2023

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mother and baby, but for too long, working mothers have struggled to express breast milk at work without adequate support. That’s where the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act comes in. Signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022, the PUMP Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers to provide reasonable break time and a private space for nursing mothers to pump.

Under the PUMP Act, all employers must provide reasonable break time to nursing mothers for one year after they have given birth to a child, whenever the need to express breast milk arises. This break time must be paid unless the employee is relieved of all duties during the break period. The law includes an exception for employers with fewer than 50 employees if compliance would impose an undue hardship. In addition, employers must provide a clean, private space (other than a bathroom) for lactating employees.

If an employer fails to comply with these requirements, the PUMP Act provides a private right of action for employees. However, employees must give their employer 10 days’ notice of the alleged violation, during which time the employer may come into compliance to avoid liability. Employers could be liable for unpaid wages, overtime compensation, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees, as well as equitable relief such as reinstatement or injunction.

If you have any questions about how the PUMP Act may affect your workplace, please contact me or your regular Parker Poe contact.