Nursing can be difficult for any mother, doubly so for working mothers who have to worry about spending long periods of time away from their baby and have to pump at work. In December 2022, the federal government responded with the PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act. The act went into effect on April 28, 2023.
How does this act help nursing mothers?
Now salaried and hourly workers have the right to a private place that is not a bathroom to pump breast milk without intrusion.
Workers must be given time to pump. If they are not relieved of duties while pumping, it must count as time worked. Employers are required to provide this time for the mothers for up to a year after the child’s birth.
If you make a complaint against your employer for not following the act, they have 10 days to fix things. If your employer does not comply, you can get relief in court, including reinstatement and back pay.
Companies with less than 50 employees, flight attendants, pilots, and railway and motorcoach workers are still exempt from the new law.
With this act, the federal government helps millions of mothers have the time and the space to pump at work. This improves their comfort and their child’s nutrition, and also broadens their rights at work.
If you have difficulties with your supervisor, keep all documentation including emails and notes from meetings. If necessary, go to her/his boss if you are not given reasonable accommodation. Try your best to work it out. If you do not receive the assistance required by law, contact an attorney. Legal aid may be available to you. This article is not legal advice.