Should Congress require employers to provide breaks and private spaces for their employees to breastfeed?

This bill has Passed the House of Representatives
Bill Summary

This bill seeks to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to expand access to breastfeeding accommodations in the workplace. Employers must provide breaks for employees to breastfeed for two years after the birth of a child and an area, other than a bathroom, must be provided for an employee to breastfeed that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. These accommodations would extend to groups of workers who are currently not covered and would require the Department of Labor to issue new guidance for compliance. Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (Democrat, New York, District 12) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

    "It takes a sweeping and more punitive route, creating extra hurdles and penalties for employers that are both unworkable and unnecessary. This is no way to empower women or facilitate their participation in the workforce. H.R. 3110 takes a one-size-fits-all approach, treating all nursing mothers and workplaces as if they are all the same. Certainly, nursing mothers working remotely or in unique workplace environments such as transportation and farm operations have different needs than those working in an office or a warehouse. Failing to account for these differences will not help women in the least. It will make it more difficult for employers to create a work environment that meets the needs of working mothers." Source: Rep. Virginia Foxx (Republican, North Carolina, District 5)

Proponents say

    "Nursing mothers and their families suffer when they are not afforded basic accommodations at work to pump breastmilk in clean, private spaces. I’m thrilled to be joined by Reps. Herrera Beutler, Roybal-Allard, Adams, and Underwood as we fight to make sure all working moms have the ability and workplace protections to breastfeed if they want to. No new mother should be forced to choose between breastfeeding and earning a paycheck." Source: Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (Democrat, New York, District 12)

    "The PUMP Act would allow nursing mothers to remain in the workplace in a way that would benefit both employers and workers.  Employers would get clarity and a way to avoid litigation, and nursing mothers would be able to remain in the workforce. The amendment in the nature of a substitute represents the product of collaborative negotiations between employers and advocates for this bill.  It is a sound compromise the Chamber is pleased to strongly support." Source: Neil L. Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce