On May 17, 2023, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. DOL issued a field assistance bulletin regarding the enforcement of the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act). The PUMP Act provides additional protections for nursing employees by requiring employers to provide reasonable break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion to express breast milk while at work.
The bulletin reminds employers that they must provide nursing employees reasonable break time each time such employee has the need to pump breast milk at work for one year after the child’s birth. The frequency, duration, and timing of breaks will vary depending on factors related to the nursing employee and the child. The bulletin notes that factors such as the location of the space and the effort necessary to express break milk, e.g., the pump setup, can affect the duration of time an employee will need to express milk. An employee and employer may agree to a certain schedule based on the employee’s need to pump, but the employer cannot require the employee to follow a fixed schedule that does not meet the employee’s need for break time each time the employee needs to pump. The bulletin also states that remote employees are eligible to take pump breaks on the same basis as if they were working on-site.
As for the space requirement, the bulletin states that a space temporarily created or converted into a space for pumping or made available when needed by the employee is sufficient provided that the space is shielded from view and free from intrusion from other employees and the public and is available each time the employee needs to pump.
The DOL also updated its FLSA Minimum Wage poster to include information on employees’ rights under the PUMP Act. Employers should replace the August 2016 poster with the April 2023 version. An electronic posting is sufficient if (1) all of the employer’s employees exclusively work remotely, (2) all employees customarily receive information from the employer by electronic means, and (3) all employee have readily available access to electronic posting at all times.
If you have any questions about this Alert, we encourage you to contact your Shulman Rogers attorney for solutions and recommendations for addressing these issues.
Practice Group Chair
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.
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