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The Pump Act


The Pump Act 


H.R.3110 - PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act

117th Congress (2021-2022)


What is it?


The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (“PUMP Act”) is a new law that makes several important changes to the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, which has required since 2010 that employers nationwide provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for lactating employees to pump milk during the workday. The 2022 PUMP Act was passed to close some of the loopholes in the original 2010 law. 


What changes were made by the PUMP Act?


-closes the coverage gap that left 1 in 4 women of childbearing age without federal protection of their right to break time and a private space to pump during the workday


-expands the legal right to receive pumping breaks and private space to nearly 9 million more workers


-possible for an employee to file a lawsuit against an employer that violates the law


-clarifies that pumping time counts as time worked when calculating minimum wage and overtime if an employee is not completely relieved from their work duties during the pumping break


What rights do lactating employees have under the law?


-employers of ALL sizes are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and a clean, private space for lactating workers to express milk for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child. -pumping space cannot be a bathroom. 


-protections apply regardless of the employee’s gender


-employers that have fewer than 50 employees are covered by the law and must provide break time and space; however, they may be excused from complying when providing the required break time and space would impose a significant difficulty or expense (called an “undue hardship”)


Who is protected by the PUMP Act?


-nearly all workers are now covered by the federal lactation break time and space requirements.


-special rules apply to certain rail carrier and motorcoach employees. 


-airline flight crewmembers (flight attendants and pilots) remain uncovered by the law.


When does the PUMP Act go into effect?


-went into effect on December 29, 2022.


-gives a right to file a lawsuit for monetary remedies, included a 120-day delay, making the effective date for that provision April 28, 2023. 


-In addition, there is a 3-year delay in the implementation of the protections for certain rail carrier and motorcoach employees.


What can an employee do if their employer refuses to comply with the law?


If an employer refuses to comply with the law, employees can take action in a number of ways:


1. Employees can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) by calling the toll-free number 1-800-487-9243 or by visiting www.dol.gov/whd


2. Employees may also contact the free helplines from the Center for WorkLife Law and/or A Better Balance for assistance in understanding their legal rights and options.


3. Employees may choose to file a lawsuit against their employer.


Where can employees get help and learn more?


Sources:

The PUMP Act Explained 

Information on the law: The Department of Labor is responsible for the enforcement of the law. 

Examples of how to make it work: The Office on Women's Health hosts the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work website

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