The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) For Nursing Mothers Act requires employers to provide a hygienic, private area meant for pumping or breastfeeding
A change has come for pregnant workers and new mothers with the The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) being signed into law. "Pregnancy should never be a barrier for women who want to stay in the workplace," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., one of the leaders behind the proposal, previously said in a statement according to CNBC. "This legislation would provide commonsense protections for pregnant workers, like extra bathroom breaks or a stool for workers who stand, so they can continue working while not putting extra strain on their pregnancies," Casey said.
Thanks to @SenBobCasey for his work to ensure pregnant employees can get basic accommodations in the workplace, like bathroom breaks, stools and water. These protections are critical – and long overdue. https://t.co/gMViwT5iFq— Senator Maria Collett (@SenatorCollett) January 2, 2023
The bill expands on a 2010 law which excluded protections for nearly 9 million women. Women were forced to breastfeed or pump in in their cars or stop pumping altogether because their employers did not give them time and space according to Merkley "We must make it possible for every new mom returning to the workplace to have the option to continue breastfeeding," she said. In June 2022, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) increased its recommendation for breastfeeding from one to two years. Sarah Brafman, national policy director at A Better Balance, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on workers' rights added, "This is really an economic justice victory, a gender justice victory, a racial justice victory, because these issues often so disproportionately affect women of color and especially Black women," Brafman said.
The PUMP Act requires employers to provide break time and a hygienice, private space for workers to pump breast milk at work. Workers can file a lawsuit to seek monetary remedies in the event that their employer fails to comply, according to US Breastfeeding Comittee. It also notes that pumping time must be paid if an employee is not completely relieved from duty. There are also some specific exemptions for workers in the transportation industry.
The space for breast milk pumping cannot just be a bathroom. It has to be “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” While the legislation has been signed and immediately went into effect there is a 120-day delay, making the effective date for that provision April 28, 2023.
The PUMP Act, which was signed into law as part of last month's omnibus, ensures that employees who are nursing receive time and privacy to pump. But does it account for the legal loopholes employers often exploit?https://t.co/nXLx9pOvhg— Ms. Magazine (@MsMagazine) January 5, 2023
Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) previously noted in a statement how important the issue is among working mothers returning back to work. “Breastfeeding is great for the baby and great for moms,” said Senator Merkley. “We must make it possible for every new mom returning to the workplace to have the option to continue breastfeeding. That option is also really good for business. With this bill, parents will be empowered to make their own choices on breastfeeding, and businesses can improve the retention of valuable employees. It’s a win-win-win.” Added Senator Murkowski, “The health benefits of breastfeeding are without question. What has been a question is a women’s protection at the jobsite to pump safely. If a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby, she deserves the legal protection to do so without having to worry about it impacting her career. I am encouraged to see the PUMP Act pass the Senate—good progress toward ensuring no mother ever has to choose between a job and nursing her child.”
Two new laws were passed in December 2022 providing protection to all nursing mothers and requiring accommodations for pregnancy- and childbirth-related conditions. https://t.co/rjPomXAzEh— TASB HR Services (@tasbhrs) January 5, 2023