Two new laws that were included in the federal omnibus spending bill, enacted on December 29, 2022, expand workplace rights for employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions starting in 2023.

FLSA Break Time and Private Pumping Space

Effective upon enactment, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers to provide break time and a private place, other than a bathroom, for employees (including those who are exempt from overtime rules) to express breast milk. It also clarifies that these breaks must be paid work time if an employee is not completely relieved of all work duties during them. A hardship exemption is available for employers with fewer than 50 employees.

Effective April 27, 2023, the PUMP Act also allows individuals to obtain damages and other remedies from employers that violate the law.

ADA Accommodations for Pregnancy

Effective June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) amends the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Under the PWFA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions unless it would impose an undue hardship on the business.

The accommodations must be determine through an informal, interactive process, and employers may not deny opportunities based on the need to make them. The PWFA also prohibits employers from requiring leave if another change can be provided or retaliating against an employee for requesting or using a pregnancy-related accommodation.

Important Dates

December 29, 2022 – Two new federal laws, one of which requires break time and nursing space immediately, were enacted to extend employment protections to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions.

April 27, 2023 – As of this date, employers may be sued for damages and other remedies under the PUMP Act.

June 27, 2023 – The PWFA’s extension of ADA accommodation rights to employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions goes into effect on this date.