The act of pumping breast milk (expressing milk from a person’s body by hand, manual, or electric pump) has been around for centuries. However, before this new act passed, many workers were not able to pump while at work. The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (P.U.M.P.) for Nursing Mothers Act expands on the original “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” Law, which passed in 2010, and states that employees had the legal right to pump in a private space at work.
The P.U.M.P. act is different because it allows around 9 million more workers to be covered and protected by law. This is mostly due to the addition of salaried employees who were excluded from the 2010 Break Time law. Other additions include that the pumping room should not be difficult to access from your place of work, and an employee cannot be fired or demoted but moved to a different position to accommodate the pumping needs. Moreover, employers cannot dock pumping individuals of their pay if they are doing tasks while pumping, such as answering calls or checking emails. Employees are also able to sue their employers who do not comply with this law, another addition to the original “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” Law. The P.U.M.P. act officially goes into effect on April 28, 2023, and will help many individuals who may be struggling to feed their young children. This is a great step in the right direction when it comes to protections for nursing mothers.
Blog written by Mary Reigner – Arcadia University Public Health – BRC Intern
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Pumping Breast Milk.” 11 June 2021, www.cdc.gov/nutrition/InfantandToddlerNutrition/breastfeeding/pumping-breast-milk.html.
Rothman, Lily. “Desperate Women, Desperate Doctors and the Surprising History Behind the Breastfeeding Debate.” time.com, 31 July 2018, time.com/5353068/breastfeeding-debate-history/.
U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. “The PUMP Act Explained.” www.usbreastfeeding.org, 2023, www.usbreastfeeding.org/the-pump-act-explained.html.
—. “PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act Signed Into Law.” /www.usbreastfeeding.org, 2023, www.usbreastfeeding.org/usbc-news–blogs/pump-for-nursing-mothers-act-signed-into-law.