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Daniel Kildee

10/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/22/2021 18:18

Kildee Applauds House Passage of Workplace Protections for Nursing Mothers

FLINT-Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today helped pass the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act to ensure nursing mothers have the time and personal space they need to pump breastmilk at work to keep themselves and their infants healthy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth and continue to be breastfed for one year. Yet, mothers often face barriers to pumping breastmilk in the workplace. This forces many to choose between employment and breastfeeding, which is critical to infant and maternal health. The bipartisan legislation, supported by Republicans and Democrats in the House, strengthens federal break time and space law to help remove barriers to breastfeeding.

"To fully recover from this pandemic, we must ensure all workers have an equal opportunity to return to work. That includes working mothers-who should never have to choose between their child's health and a paycheck. I am committed to ensuring our economy works for everyone. One way we can do that is by guaranteeing women have the resources to breastfeed at work," said Congressman Kildee.

The PUMP Act would:

  • Extend break time and space protections to workers who are currently excluded from overtime protections, including salaried workers and other categories of employees currently exempted from protections including agricultural workers, transportation workers, airline workers, nurses and teachers;
  • Ensure nursing mothers have the same access to remedies provided for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including reinstatement or back pay;
  • Extend break time and space protections to workers for up to two years after the employee gives birth or begins nursing a child;
  • Expand break time and space protections to include when a mother begins nursing an adopted child or needs to pump after giving birth to a stillborn infant or an infant they no longer have custody over;
  • Clarify that a nursing mother should be paid if she works during breaks.

In Congress, Kildee has fought to improve women's workplace equity, introducing legislation to strengthen and close loopholes in existing law to help ensure that women and men get paid the same if they are doing the same work, which the House passed in 2019.