The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 3110, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. No new mother should face unfair treatment in the workplace because their employer refuses to provide them with reasonable break time and private, clean space needed to adequately express breast milk while at work, forcing them to choose between their health and the health of her child, and earning a paycheck. Yet millions of new working mothers, disproportionately working mothers of color, face this challenge every day.
Congress recognized the importance of ensuring that workers are able to have the time and space they need to express breast milk by passing section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would ensure that millions of working mothers previously excluded from the 2010 Break Time law are protected. By closing this gap, the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act will ensure millions of nursing mothers have a clear right to pump at work. Without these protections, nursing mothers face serious health consequences, including risk of painful illness and infection, diminished milk supply, or inability to continue breastfeeding.
H.R. 3110 is a bipartisan bill that would also require employers to pay an hourly employee for any time spent pumping if the employee is also working. The legislation would ensure that nursing mothers have access to remedies available for other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Finally, the PUMP Act also gives employers flexibility to identify solutions that work for their specific business environment. For example, the bill requires employees to inform their employers about inadequate space to express breast milk 10 days before filing suit for violating the requirement.
The Administration encourages the House to pass this bipartisan, commonsense legislation and looks forward to working with the Congress to fill the gaps in the law so that all new mothers who choose to breastfeed are guaranteed the workplace protections they deserve.