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May 04, 2023

DOL releases guidance on PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act

DisabilityWage and Hour 

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued frequently asked questions and a fact sheet detailing employers' obligations under the newly enacted Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act). As we previously reported, enforcement of this Act began on April 28, 2023. The PUMP Act expands the right to take reasonable breaks to express breast milk to all workers (not just employees entitled to minimum wage and overtime), with very limited exceptions. The law requires employers to provide a private space as often as needed for up to a year following the birth of the child.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees may decline to provide lactation breaks if they can show undue hardship within the framework of a traditional Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) analysis. According to the ADA regulations, undue hardship means significant difficulty or expense (29 CFR 1630.2(p)).

Tips: State laws in California, Oregon, and Washington already allow all employees who are lactating to take reasonable breaks to express breast milk. See our Model Policy, Breaks for Nursing Mothers, for details on each state’s unique approach. The policy has been updated to incorporate the new federal guidance.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.