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An Growth of Federal Protections For Pregnant and Nursing Employees | Bodmann

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Pregnant Employees Equity Act (“PWFA”) and the Offering Pressing Maternal Protections for Nursing Moms Act (“PUMP Act”) as a part of the Fiscal 12 months 2023 Omnibus Spending Invoice. The PWFA would require employers to supply cheap lodging to pregnant employees. The PUMP Act requires employers to supply a personal lactation area and break occasions throughout work for nursing moms.

The Pregnant Employees Equity Act

The PWFA would require employers with 15 or extra employees to supply cheap lodging for workers and job candidates with situations associated to being pregnant and childbirth, akin to permitting gentle obligation from heavy lifting or extra frequent toilet breaks. Employers might want to interact in the identical interactive course of with pregnant staff as they do with staff with disabilities, underneath the People with Disabilities Act, with the intention to decide an affordable lodging. The PWFA additionally prohibits employers from discriminating in opposition to staff and job candidates due to their want for a pregnancy-related lodging.

This expands upon the federal protections supplied by the Being pregnant Discrimination Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating in opposition to staff and making adversarial employment selections primarily based on being pregnant or associated situations. Nevertheless, the Being pregnant Discrimination Act doesn’t require employers to accommodate pregnant employees.

The PWFA will take impact on June 27, 2023, and at the moment, employers might want to present cheap lodging to pregnant employees. As a way to adjust to this new federal legislation, employers ought to assessment their insurance policies to ensure that a well-defined process exists for workers to request an lodging. The coverage ought to present clear directions to staff concerning when, the place, and how you can report their want for lodging.

The PUMP for Nursing Moms Act

The PUMP Act requires coated employers to supply two completely different protections for nursing moms for the primary 12 months of their kid’s life: (1) an affordable break time to precise breast milk for a nursing baby every time the worker has a necessity to precise the milk, and (2) a spot, apart from a rest room, for the expression of milk that’s shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the general public. An employer isn’t required to pay an worker for the nursing break time, except the worker isn’t fully relieved from obligation through the nursing break or required underneath one other relevant legislation.

These protections develop upon present necessities of the Honest Labor Requirements Act (“FLSA”), and shut a loophole, which allowed employers to not present nursing break time and personal lactation areas to employees who have been exempt from the FLSA’s time beyond regulation provision, akin to lecturers and nurses.

There are some employer exceptions to the PUMP Act. Employers with fewer than 50 staff are exempt if compliance with the legislation would trigger undue hardship due to vital problem or expense. Crewmembers of air carriers are exempt. Rail carriers and motor coach companies operators are usually not exempt, however there are limitations with the scope of protection.

The PUMP Act necessities to supply nursing break time and guarded area for expressing breast milk grew to become efficient on the date of enactment (December 29, 2022). The provisions of the legislation permitting staff to hunt authorized aid and treatments underneath the FLSA for violations take impact on April 28, 2023. As a way to keep away from legal responsibility, employers ought to assessment their insurance policies and procedures concerning lactation breaks and supply corresponding coaching to human assets and managerial staff.

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