The Pump Act: What it is and What it Means For You
Let's talk about the PUMP Act and why it's important for you to know about it.
The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers was signed into law on December 29, 2022. This means that although it went into effect immediately the enforcement won’t go into effect until April 28, 2023. So, if a company or organization fails to follow this new legislation there are no repercussions until April 28th. You may have heard of the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law which was signed in 2010 and requires that requires employers to provide reasonable break time AND a private space for all lactating employees (bathrooms don't count). The PUMP Act is a different law, but it was created to address some of the loopholes in the Break Time law.
How is it different? Let’s break it down! The PUMP act includes the following additions:
Provides the right to break time and space to pump breast milk at work to millions more workers, including teachers and nurses, as well as other salaried workers
Makes it possible for workers to file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation if their employer fails to comply
Makes it clear that pumping time must be paid if the employee is still doing any work while pumping breast milk
Why is the PUMP Act important?
Well, first of all, this is huge news for all lactating individuals in general. Beyond that, this is big news when it comes to equity in the workplace. This law gives lactating individuals both proper support and protection. This act is another step towards gender equity in the workplace and allows for new moms who are wanting to come back to work feel that much more confident in being able to step into their role as a parent and not feel like they are jeopardizing their status as an employee.
Secondly, if you are currently pumping breast milk you can feel confident in knowing that your employer is required to accommodate you. However, be mindful that employers who have yet to put this into effect in the workplace can't face repercussions until April 28, 2023.