Pump Act Passes! December 23, 2022
The Pump Act, also known as the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act, is a bill that just passed by Congress. This bill expands on other legislation and adds more protections for pumping mothers. Organizations must provide breastfeeding parents enough time to pump and a private place (other than the bathroom) to pump per the Affordable Care Act of 2010, so what did the PUMP Act update? Read on to find out!
Main Updates in the PUMP Act
The PUMP Act provides some much needed added protection to breastfeeding parents! Here are the main updates:
- Extends protections for employees that weren’t previously covered, particularly salaried employees
- Time spent expressing breast milk must be considered hours worked if the employee is also working
- Extends the period of accommodations from 1 year to 2 years
New Little Life is especially excited to see the period of accommodation extended from one year to two years! The benefits of breastmilk for baby don’t disappear at age one, but the workplace protections for pumping did, until now.
It seems Congress has accepted the call to action from the American Academy of Pediatrics who said: “Breastfeeding [is] a public health imperative and also as an equity issue. Mothers who choose to breastfeed beyond the first year need support from their medical care providers, as well as protections against workplace barriers.”
Other Things to Note in the PUMP Act
While we are excited with these added protections, there some other things to note within the PUMP Act:
- Before filing a formal claim of liability against an employer, you must notify your employer they are non-compliant and they have 10 days to become compliant (enough time to hurt your milk supply!)
- There are exemptions for those in air carriers and rail workers (due to the difficulty of securing a private location)
Breastfeeding Parents Need More Support
The complexities of pumping at work often affect a women’s decision to continue breastfeeding.
A recent survey done by Aeroflow showed that
- Nearly half of moms have expressed concern that breastfeeding at work could impact their career growth
- And almost half of these women have considered a job change because of their desire to pump at work.
- 62% said there is a stigma attached to moms who breastfeed at work, indicating that workplaces still have much room for improvement.
“The health benefits of breastfeeding are without question. What has been a question is a women’s protection at the job site to pump safely. If a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby, she deserves the legal protection to do so without having to worry about it impacting her career,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “I am encouraged to see the PUMP Act pass […]—good progress toward ensuring no mother ever has to choose between a job and nursing her child.”
We hope with added legal protections breastfeeding parents can be more supported!
If you are looking for more information on the legal protections for pumping parents, support for your pumping and working journey, and a community of other parents like you, the Pumping for Working Moms Programs is full of videos and blog posts just like this one!