On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act into law.
The PUMP Act requires employers to provide nursing mothers reasonable break time and a space, other than a restroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion to pump while at work. This right is available for up to one year after the child’s birth.
All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must comply with the PUMP Act. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may not be required to comply, but only if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Employees may file complaints with the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, or may file a private cause of action seeking appropriate remedies. Before filing a private suit for violations of the PUMP Act, an employee is required to notify the employer of the failure and allow 10 days for the employer to come into compliance, unless an exception applies.
It is against the law to retaliate against an employee for asserting her rights under the PUMP Act.
In light of the PUMP Act, New Hampshire has adopted a law called “Policies Relating to Nursing Mothers,” RSA 275:78-83, to include an unpaid break of 30 minutes to pump for every three hours of work beginning on July 1, 2025.
This law also requires a space be provided, that is not a restroom, and is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. The space must also be within a reasonable walk from the employee’s worksite. Additionally, employers must adopt a policy to address these requirements, and cannot require employees to make up the time for using such break periods. Employers may be exempted from these requirements but only if compliance would impose an undue hardship.
Employees must notify their employer at least 2 weeks prior to needing reasonable break periods and sufficient space for pumping at work.
Any employer who violates NH’s law may be subject to a one-time civil penalty. The penalty provision of the law takes effect on July 1, 2026.
If you are an employee or an employer with questions or concerns regarding your rights or responsibilities under the PUMP Act and NH law, please reach out to an Upton & Hatfield, LLP attorney today.