After much speculation on the impact of a new federal law requiring certain employers to give unpaid pump breaks to certain employees (and my advice to Curb Your Enthusiasm), the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a Fact Sheet.
Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA restates the requirements of the amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act which went into effect this past March and which requires unpaid breaks for certain employees to pump breast milk and private space in which to pump.
While the text of the Fact Sheet provides little clarification of the new law – the penalty to employers for violating the law is still unclear – and is not an official position statement or regulation, it may indicate the Department of Labor is better prepared to accept complaints than it was in March.
Employees seeking more information should “call [the DOL] toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).” While there have been no public reports of employees using this new law, I have also seen no reports of the DOL rejecting complaints. Any nursing mother having trouble with employer compliance with the federal workplace pumping law should feel free to write about it here.
About Jake Marcus