Protections for Pumping Parents in the Workplace

Jenn Forster
January 9, 2023
Pumping at work
Additional Pump Protection

Happy New Year! In case you missed it, just before the holidays President Biden signed off on a $1.7 trillion omnibus package, which included the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act. The PUMP Act expands workplace protections for employees with a need to express breastmilk and requires that employers provide accommodations for salaried employees and other types of workers not covered under existing law. Time spent expressing breastmilk must be considered hours worked if the employee is also working and the bill also extends these accommodations from one to two years.

The Missing Pieces

This is a huge step to support maternal health in the workplace. 9 million employees who were not included in the 2010 Break Time Law are now protected, including teachers, nurses, airline crewmembers and farmworkers. It also provides clarity on pumping time and states that employers must provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. In addition, the language in this bill is important because it recognizes that expressing breast milk is considered a “physiological need,” which has largely been missing from the conversation to-date. 

Women's Health

When a woman who is breastfeeding cannot express milk in the workplace, it places her health at risk because it can lead to clogged milk ducts or mastitis, which often results in tremendous pain, infection of the breast, fever and even hospitalization if not quickly treated. Expressing milk is deeply connected to a breastfeeding woman’s health and it is great to see recognition of this in federal legislation.

We Got Your Back... & Your Front Too

SimpliFed is here to help families with their baby feeding questions and needs, whether they choose to breastfeed, pump, formula feed, or a little of it all. All parents are “working parents” and all parents deserve the support they need to feed their children and feel good about it.