Complying with the PUMP Act of 2023
You may be familiar with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), but are you aware of the lesser-known protections offered in the PUMP Act? The PUMP Act (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) gives employees the right to receive break time to pump and a private place to pump at work. Previously, under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), the act requires an employer with 50 or more employees to provide an employee with the following:
- A reasonable break time to express breast milk each time such employee has the need to express breast milk for the employee’s nursing child for one year after the child’s birth.
- A place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and intrusion from coworkers and the public that can be used by an employee to express breast milk.
During this time, an employer is not required to compensate an employee for any time spent during the workday to express breast milk unless otherwise required by Federal or State law. However, if the employee is not relieved of all work-related duties during the entire break, the break would then be considered hours worked.
Effective as of 4/28/2023, new compliances to expand the workplace protections took effect with the PUMP Act, which include:
- Extending the time period for accommodations from one to two years.
- Covering all employees, including exempt employees, with some exceptions for: a. Employers with fewer than 50 employees, if compliance with the law would cause undue hardship to the business. b. Crewmembers of air carriers where creating private places to express breast milk is difficult.
Additionally, employees are now able to take legal action for monetary damages if an employer takes an adverse employment action against the employee for their request for break time or if the employer has indicated that they will not be complying. Before filing a lawsuit, employees must give their employer a 10-day notice of non-compliance. This gives the employer time to become compliant to avoid liability.
To stay on top of the upcoming changes, make sure you have a safe and private area and time accommodations for eligible employees if you do not already have one. If you don’t have eligible employees, always have a plan for the space you could provide if an employee were to become eligible. This will help you be prepared if and when the situation arises. The act also covers remote workers, providing them a space during this time free from webcams, security cameras, or web conferencing platforms.
Do you have any questions regarding compliance with the new changes? Are you unsure if you have the required space to provide or how to accommodate eligible employees? Please contact our HR Department at UAP today to see how we can help!