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Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) Goes into Full Effect

In early May, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act or Pump Act that was passed last December, went into full effect. The law, rolled out in phases to give employers time to adjust to the new requirements, requires employers of all sizes to provide a reasonable amount of break time and a clean, private space for lactating workers to express milk for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child. The pumping space cannot be a bathroom. These protections apply regardless of the employee’s gender.

Employers that have fewer than 50 employees are also covered by the law and must provide break time and space. These employers may be excused from complying when providing the required break time and space would impose a significant difficulty or expense or “undue hardship” on the organization.

If an employer has not provided adequate space to pump, employees must notify their employer, and the employer then has 10 days to comply. If an employer disregards the requirements of the law, the PUMP Act grants employees legal recourse options via the Fair Labor Standards Act.