HR Policy Association

Nursing Mothers Workplace Accommodations Bill Passes House of Representatives

Published on: October 22, 2021

Authors: Chatrane Birbal

Topics: Employment Law

By a vote of 276–149, the House of Representatives approved the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act (H.R. 3110), which would expand workplace accommodations for nursing mothers to those workers currently exempt, clarify employers' obligations under the law, and ensure nursing mothers have access to appropriate remedies if an employer fails to provide an accommodation or a reasonable break time.

H.R. 3110 updates the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act, which requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide a space and accommodations for nursing mothers. 

Provisions of interest to the Association’s members include: 

  • Employers would be required to provide breaks for employees to express breast milk for two years after a child’s birth. 

  • Employers would be allowed 10 days to make additional accommodations and improve space allocated for nursing mothers before employees proceed with filing a claim for noncompliance. 

  • The Department of Labor would issue guidance on employer compliance within 60 days of enactment that is consistent with the existing information from the Office on Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services' website.

  • The Act clarifies that if an employee is not completely relieved of their duties during a break, that time is considered hours worked for the purposes of minimum wage and overtime requirements.

  • Airline workers would be entitled to the workplace accommodations for one year after enactment, though the employing airlines wouldn’t be required to provide crew members with break time during “critical phases of flight” or incur significant expense to make relevant modifications to an aircraft. 

HR Policy Association sent a letter of support for the bill.  At the time of sending our letter the bill was subject to additional changes to acknowledge the uniqueness of the airline industry and compliance capabilities. 

Outlook:  This bill now heads to the Senate, where it will be placed on the calendar for consideration.  The Biden administration has expressed strong support for H.R. 3110, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the companion bill, S. 1658 on May 25th.  It is expected that when H.R. 3110 is taken up by the full Senate, the bill will pass.

Chatrane Birbal

Vice President, Government Relations, HR Policy Association

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