The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (“PUMP”) For Nursing Mothers Act

March 30, 2023 Katya M. Lancero General

The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (“PUMP”) For Nursing Mothers Act

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (“PUMP”) For Nursing Mothers Act (collectively, the “PUMP Act”).  The PUMP Act expands workplace protections for lactating employees by mandating that covered employers provide lactating employees with reasonable break time and a private place that is not a bathroom to express breast milk. 

The requirements under the PUMP Act went into effect immediately, but employees are not able to bring a lawsuit against an employer for non-compliance with the law until April 28, 2023.  Employers which are covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are also covered under the PUMP Act.  But just like under the previous law, employers with less than 50 employees are not required to comply with the PUMP Act if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, and/or structure of the employer’s business.

            In 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which, among other provisions, amended the FLSA to require employers to provide reasonable break time and a private place that is not a bathroom, shielded from view and free from intrusion from workers and the public, to express breast milk for one year following the child’s birth, each time the employee has a need to express milk.  Only non-exempt employees were entitled to such protections under this previous law.

            The PUMP Act expands upon those protections established in 2010, requiring that covered employers provide such workplace protections to not just non-exempt employees, but exempt employees as well.  Employees who are exempt under the FLSA are those employees whose salary ranges and job duties fall into any one of several so-called “white collar” exemptions to the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements, including the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales employees, and computer employee exemptions.  For instance, teachers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, attorneys, doctors, journalists, computer programmers, and journalists who work for covered employers are all now protected under the PUMP Act, depending on their salary levels and specific job duties.  Moreover, the new law requires that employers provide such protections to covered employees for two years after the child’s birth, whereas the previous law required such protections for only one year after the child’s birth.  

            Before an employee may bring a lawsuit against an employer for violations under the PUMP Act, the employee must first notify the employer they are not in compliance with this law and must provide the employer with 10 calendar days to come into compliance. The 10-day requirement does not apply if the employee was discharged in retaliation for exercising rights under the new law, or if the employer indicates to the employee it has no intention of complying.  Finally, the new law also provides certain exemptions for air carriers.

            Notably, employers with operations outside of Arizona may be required to provide greater protections to their employees than what is required under the PUMP Act, as the new law does not preempt State or local laws that provide greater protections.  If you are an employer operating in Arizona, be sure to revise your policies and practices to come into compliance with the PUMP Act. 

If you have questions about the PUMP Act or other employment-related issues, please contact Shar Bahmani at or Katya Lancero at