MIL-OSI USA: Underwood’s Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Nursing Mothers Passes the House

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

October 22, 2021

Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, in a bipartisan vote of 276-149, the House of Representatives passed the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. The bill was introduced earlier this year by Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL) along with Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Congressional Maternity Care Caucus co-chairs Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Black Maternal Health Caucus co-chair Alma Adams (D-NC). The legislation will protect nearly 9 million employees excluded from the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act and ensure that all nursing mothers have protections in the workplace.  

 

“Every parent deserves the opportunity to choose to breastfeed, and I’m proud to sponsor legislation that would remove barriers to breastfeeding for parents as they return to workforce. As a nurse, I know the health benefits of breastfeeding are clear, and all breastfeeding employees should be provided the time and space they need to safely and privately pump at work,” said Underwood. “I urge the Senate to send this bill to the President’s desk urgently. It’s past time to close this loophole and ensure returning to work is not a barrier to breastfeeding.” 

 

A video of Underwood’s floor speech can be found here.

 

Background 

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would strengthen the 2010 break time law by: 

  • Closing the coverage gap. The bill would protect 9 million employees excluded from the 2010 Break Time law by extending the law’s protections to cover categories of employees currently excluded from protections, such as teachers, nurses, and farmworkers. 
  • Providing employers clarity on when pumping time can be unpaid, as is allowed under current law. 
  • Ensuring that nursing mothers have access to remedies that are available for other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

 

Bill text can be found here and a fact sheet can be found here.

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