On October 22, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (H.R. 3110), a bipartisan bill that aims to expand protections for nursing mothers who pump breastmilk at work. Among other things, the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would:
- Extend workplace accommodations to many women not covered by existing law, including salaried employees, teachers, agricultural workers and airline employees. This means some 9 million more working moms would have access to breaktime and some privacy to pump--and a claim for back pay if denied that access.
- Require the employer to pay the employee for her pumping breaktime if she is not totally relieved of her duties during that breaktime. A shout-out here to all of you who have had to take calls in the mother’s room!
- Lengthen the required workplace accommodations from one year to two years. Um, yeah. Ask the World Health Organization.
Employers of fewer than 50 employees would still be exempt. The bill goes next to the Senate, but with broad support from both sides of the aisle and a spectrum of business interests, it apparently has a reasonable chance of success there.
Weissner, House Passes Biz- Backed Bill Adding Protections for Nursing Moms (Reuters Oct. 22, 2021), https://www.reuters.com/legal/transactional/house-passes-biz-backed-bill-adding-protections-nursing-moms-2021-10-22/.
The bill itself can be accessed here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3110?overview=closed.
Disclaimer: While this Blog post may touch upon a legal subject, it is intended for general-interest consumption only, and is not to be relied upon as legal advice.
Jean F. Gerbini, Esq. recently retired as Of Counsel to the Albany, New York law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP. She and her husband, Antoine, successfully nurtured their two kids to adulthood -- with the help of colleagues, grannies, neighbors, nieces, friends, teachers, and a ridiculously long list of summer day camps. She has the distinction of being the mother of Monica Hershenhorn, founder of BOOSÉ®.
Reader Comments: Honestly, how many times have you had to answer work calls, scan work e-mails, navigate spreadsheets or even appear on a Zoom conference while hunkering down to pump? Any magnificent fails? Advice for the uninitiated?