Maloney Introduces Bill to Ensure Breastfeeding Rights for Working Moms

Jan 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today introduced the PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act. This bill will close unintentional gaps in the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act to ensure that millions of working mothers have the access and protections they need to breastfeed should they choose to do so.

“As the first woman to give birth while serving on the New York City Council, I know firsthand the difficulties new mothers face in the workplace,” said Rep. Maloney. “Those difficulties should not include breastfeeding and millions of nursing mothers are still without 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 – this is why we must pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act to strengthen the 2010 Break Time law by making sure more working moms are guaranteed the right to pump at work.”

Background

Nursing mothers are suffering negative health consequences and being forced to choose between breastfeeding and earning a paycheck. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would strengthen the 2010 Break Time law by:

  • Closing the coverage gap. The bill would protect 9 million employees unintentionally excluded from the 2010 Break Time law by extending the law’s protections to cover salaried employees as well as other categories of employees currently exempted from protections, such as teachers.
  • Providing employers clarity on when pumping time must be paid and when it may be unpaid. The bill leaves in place existing law protecting many salaried workers from having their pay docked, and clarifies that employers must pay an hourly employee for any time spent pumping if the employee is also working.
  • Providing remedies for nursing mothers. The bill would ensure that nursing mothers have access to remedies that are available for other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

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