The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act just advanced to the Senate. If it passes, the bill will require employers with 25 or more employees to allow time and a non-bathroom, private space for lactating parents. This new bill builds off the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2010, where the requirement only applied to those paid by the hour. The new bill also applies to those with annual salaries (i.e., teachers, nurses).
On top of nursing mothers, the PUMP Act also protects surrogates, those who adopt and induce lactation, and those who experience stillbirth but would like to donate their milk. Formerly exempt employees can seek back pay and reinstatement if they were fired due to requesting time to pump at work, according to the bill.
Experts believe this will benefit working parents and also employers who wish to retain their working parent employees.
There are five requirements for a lactating space:
- It cannot be a bathroom.
- It must have a chair and flat surface.
- It must be shielded from view.
- It must be free of intrusion.
- It must be readily available for a person who needs express milk.
For employers who do not comply within 10 days’ notice, the employee is allowed to bring the issue to court and file a lawsuit. While the PUMP Act has not passed yet, many parents are looking forward to more rights and protections in the workplace.
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