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Break Time for Nursing Mothers


The PUMP (Provide Urgent Maternal Protections) Act, which took effect April 28, 2023, expands the breastfeeding protections provided by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.  

       Two major changes to the breastfeeding protections are:

  • Nursing mothers are covered for up to one year after childbirth
  • Employee coverage has been expanded to include teachers, nurses, farmworkers, and many others

Previously, only non-exempt nursing mothers were covered. The act also strengthens remedies available under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the event of noncompliance.


The Affordable Care Act amended section 7 of the FLSA to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child each time such employee has the need to express milk. Employers are also required to 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 an employee to express breast milk. 

The Department of Labor provides links to applicable laws and several general guidance resources, most of which are in English and Spanish, including

  • a fact sheet,
  • FAQs,
  • resources for how to file a complaint, and
  • links to additional resources for those who are pregnant and lactating.

Other relevant resources could include the Office on Women’s Health Supporting Nursing Moms at Work website or The PUMP Act Explained hosted by the United States Breastfeeding Committee.

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