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If you are pregnant or pumping at work new legislation signed into law at the end of last year offers you new legal protections!  Gone are the days of choosing between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck. No more pumping in storage closets or the bathroom.  Pregnant, breastfeeding, and lactating workers are now longer forced to make these impossible decisions thanks to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (“PUMP Act”).  

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Pregnant workers, and those who have recently given birth, can now receive reasonable accommodations to support a healthy pregnancy without fear of losing their job or retaliation in the workplace.*  Whether it is needing extra bathroom breaks, a stool to sit on, or being able to carry a water bottle, workers have the right to reasonable accommodations, unless the requested accommodation would be really difficult or expensive (an undue hardship) for the employer to provide. 

Examples of reasonable accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Light duty or help with lifting 
  • Wear maternity clothing
  • Flexible schedule for prenatal and postnatal appointments
  • Time off for bedrest, recovery from childbirth, mastitis, and more 

It does not matter if you are full-time or part time, whether you work for a private company or a government agency; as long as your employer has 15 employees, you are protected.

You can learn more about the the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act through our partners at A Better Balance. 

*The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect on June 27, 2023. 


PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act “PUMP Act”  

Nearly all breastfeeding mothers and lactating workers now have the legal right to break time and a private, non-bathroom space to pump.** Did you know that the lack of workplace accommodations have been a barrier for many families trying to reach their breastfeeding and lactating goals? Legal protections provided under the PUMP Act went into effect at the end of last year and applies to workers (regardless of gender) up to a year postpartum.

Want to learn more about how to talk to your boss about your right to pump? Check out this resource from our partners at the Center for WorkLife Law and A Better Balance.

For concerns around employer compliance, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at 1-800-487-924.  You will then be directed to the nearest WHD office for assistance, and WHD will investigate. It is illegal for an employer to fire or discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint.  Learn more about the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act. through our partners at the United States Breastfeeding Committee.  

If you are a pregnant, breastfeeding, or lactating worker and have questions about your legal rights in the workplace, please reach out to our partners at A Better Balance at 1-833-NEED-ABB / 1-833-633-3222 or the Center for WorkLife Law at or (415) 703-8276.

*The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect on June 27, 2023.
**Special rules apply to certain rail carrier and motorcoach employees. Unfortunately,flight attendants and pilots remain uncovered by the law, but maybe covered under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

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