Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act)
By Attorney Storm B. Larson, Boardman Clark LLP
The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) was signed into law on December 29, 2022. The law expanded existing legal protections for certain nursing employees to cover virtually all nursing employees. The PUMP act requires employers to provide reasonable break time for any employee to express breast milk for the employee’s nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time the employee has the need to do so. Prior law only required employers to provide this for employees that were not exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employers must provide a place to express breast milk, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free of intrusion. All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act shall comply with the break time for nursing mothers’ provisions unless the employer has fewer than 50 employers and can show that such compliance would impose an undue hardship. In practice, it may be challenging for such employers to prove undue hardship.
Pay during such breaks depends on a variety of factors, including the frequency of breaks, the employee’s regular break schedule, and the FLSA exempt v. non-exempt status of the employee. If the employee is working while pumping, then time spent to express breast milk must be considered work hours subject to compensation.
This law has already taken effect, so employers should take immediate steps to ensure compliance. If you have questions about compliance with the PUMP Act, you should contact your legal counsel.