To borrow from Dr. Seuss, “From there to here, from here to there baby things are everywhere!” That’s right, it’s time for more laws related to babies. Specifically, the Department of Labor (DOL) has now provided employers with a brand-new FLSA Minimum Wage Poster to display. What’s the big change? It’s all about Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers or the “PUMP Act.”
The PUMP Act became law on December 29, 2022, and requires employers to provide nursing employees with reasonable accommodations, such as a reasonable amount of break time and a place – other than a bathroom – at work where they may express breast milk. The FLSA previously afforded these rights only to non-exempt employees, but the PUMP Act now covers many workers who were not otherwise entitled to those accommodations, such as salaried employees.
Since the DOL is in charge of PUMP, it added new language to the Minimum Wage Poster. The new “it’s the Law” poster has the same information as the old poster but with one important additional paragraph which reads as follows:
PUMP AT WORK The FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for a nursing employee to express breast milk for their nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time the employee needs to express breast milk. Employers must provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by the employee to express breast milk.
So, be sure to check your company’s mandatory minimum wage poster that it has this language in it and has a date of April 2023 in the lower right-hand corner. If not, go ahead and print this one off from DOL.gov and put it up with your other posters. And don’t forget, the DOL will be providing a new FMLA poster soon; we will keep you updated when that one drops as well.
Not to be outdone, the EEOC will have a new poster out in June of this year to provide information about the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). It is cheerfully advertised as having a “due date” of June 27, 2023, which is when the law will go into effect.
Both of these laws emphasize employee education and a zero tolerance for non- compliance. Lawmakers want to be sure that women are unfettered from working while pregnant and going back to work and being able to express milk. Now is the time to be sure you have your posters up and your pregnancy and PUMP Act policies in place. What are you waiting for? For assistance or questions on this topic, contact Madalene Witterholt or another member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.