Update Regarding Break Times for Nursing Employees
The U.S. Department of Labor has released guidance regarding the new workplace protections for nursing employees, which we previously reported on here. The guidance includes the DOL’s Frequently Asked Questions and a Fact Sheet regarding the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (“PUMP Act”).
Importantly, the DOL guidance clarifies that employers are required to provide a reasonable amount of break time and a space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing employee, for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child. The frequency and duration of each break will likely vary, and the employer must allow nursing employees to break each time such employee has the need to express milk.
The new guidance expressly also states that the space provided by the employer cannot be a bathroom, and it must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public. The space does not have to be permanent, and employers without nursing employees do not need to create a space until a need arises.
If you have any questions about the PUMP Act, or need assistance reviewing and updating your business’ policies and procedures, please contact one of Honigman’s Labor and Employment attorneys.