On December 29, 2022, the Biden Administration signed The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) For Nursing Mothers Act.
PUMP makes several important changes to the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law of 2010. Here’s what school employers need to know.
In 2010, The Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) was passed. The Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law required employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for breastfeeding employees to pump during the workday. Though this was a significant step towards accommodating the needs of nursing women, a large portion of the female workforce was not covered by the law.
Twelve years later, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (“PUMP”) For Nursing Mothers Act was signed into law. PUMP expanded the protections under the FLSA to provide lactation break time and space to millions of women not previously protected under The Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law, including teachers and registered nurses. PUMP went into effect on December 29, 2022.
What is PUMP?
With bipartisan support from policymakers, PUMP passed the Senate in a 92-5 vote. PUMP updated the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law and expands workplace protections for breastfeeding employees.
PUMP provides the following protections to millions more workers, including teachers and nurses:
1. The right to break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, to express breast milk;
2. The opportunity for workers to file a lawsuit to seek appropriate remedies should their employer fail to comply; and
3. The right to paid pumping time if an employee is not completely relieved from duty.
PUMP also amends the FSLA to require employers to pay employees for these breaks if the employer provides paid breaks to other employees.
Who is Covered Under PUMP?
PUMP amends the FSLA to require employers with fifty (50) or more employees to provide reasonable break time for all employees to express breast milk if needed. The FSLA applies to all employees of a pre-school, elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher learning, or a school for mentally or physically handicapped or gifted children, regardless of the duties they perform. Additionally, these protections apply to employees who telework on the same basis as other employees.
These employees may take reasonable break time each time such employee has need to express the milk, for one year after the child’s birth.
Bottom Line for Schools
As of December 29, 2022, schools must ensure that they are compliant with the updated law, providing appropriate break time and space to nursing teachers.
Understandably, school administrators may struggle with the need for instructional coverage when implementing these new legal protections. With PUMP in effect, administrations will need to arrange coverage for breastfeeding teachers.
The PUMP Act should not be confused with another recent law for the protection of pregnant workers, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which goes into effect June 27, 2023.
KingSpry’s Education Law Group is prepared to assist school districts and administrations in reviewing their policies to ensure that they have procedures in place to provide their teachers with adequate spaces and break coverage.
School officials with questions about the PUMP Act should contact their solicitor or an education attorney at KingSpry.
School Law Bullets are a publication of KingSpry’s Education Law Practice Group. They are meant to be informational and do not constitute legal advice.