New PUMP Act Remedies Effective April 28, 2023
The PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) Act was passed by Congress on December 31st, 2022, but the most important aspect of the law – the additional remedies available in the event of a violation of the PUMP Act – become effective today, April 28, 2023. Employees may now seek civil monetary penalties for violations of the PUMP Act including liquidated damages, and civil monetary penalties. This is an incredible tool for nursing employees!
Under the PUMP Act, employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a private, hygienic space that is not a bathroom, to express milk during work hours. This space must be shielded from view, free from intrusion by coworkers and the public, and must include a surface to place a breast pump and other personal items. Employers must also provide reasonable break time to nursing mothers to express milk, as frequently as needed by the employee, for up to one year after the birth of a child.
Additionally, the PUMP Act provides for reasonable accommodations for nursing mothers who need to express milk at work, such as modified work schedules or job responsibilities. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who assert their rights under the PUMP Act and can be liable for punitive damages in the event of retaliatory behavior.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Who is covered by the PUMP Act?
A: The PUMP Act covers all non-exempt employees who are nursing mothers. This includes hourly, salaried, and part-time employees, as well as those who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Q: How long after the birth of my baby will I be entitled to reasonable break time and space for pumping?
A: For up to one year after your child’s birth.
Q: What does “private space” mean under the PUMP Act?
A: Not a bathroom, shielded from view, free from intrusion. However, your employer does not have to create a new space for you. They can utilize existing space as long as it complies with the requirements.
Q: What if my employer refuses to provide me with a private space to express milk?
A: If your employer refuses to provide you with a private space to express milk, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. You may also give your employer 10 days to establish the space and if hey fail to do so, you may exercise a private right of action and file a lawsuit against your employer.
Q: Can my employer require me to use my regular break time to express milk?
A: No, your employer must provide you with reasonable break time to express milk, in addition to your regular breaks. If your employer requires you to use your regular break time to express milk, they may be in violation of the PUMP Act.
Q: What if I am traveling for work or visiting an off-site location?
A: Your employer is still responsible for ensuring compliance with the space and break time requirements of the PUMP Act.
Contact Hawks Quindel
If you have questions about the PUMP Act or believe your employer is not in compliance with the law, please contact Hawks Quindel for a free consultation.
- Balancing Breastfeeding and Work – Nursing Moms Now Have a Powerful Tool at their Disposal - April 28, 2023
- Can Employers Legally Require Employee COVID-19 Vaccinations? - September 17, 2021
- HIPAA Allows Most Employers to Share Private Employee Medical Info - April 10, 2021