US Department of Labor launches ‘Power to Pump’ campaign
Published: August 12, 2023
As people around the globe recognize World Breastfeeding Week and the U.S. honors National Breastfeeding Month, the U.S. Department of Labor today launched “Power to Pump,” a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of protections for millions of additional nursing workers to express milk.
Led by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, the campaign includes efforts by division staff to distribute thousands of information cards on the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act and resources to community-based organizations across America. District representatives will also take part in a continuing series of outreach activities and presentations in local communities to promote understanding of the PUMP Act’s benefits.
Enacted in December 2022, the Pump Act expands protections for nursing mothers in the Fair Labor Standards Act to include those employed as farm, retail, restaurant, transportation, and care workers, as well as those working as teachers. By law, employers must provide nursing employees with reasonable break time and a private space to pump breast milk for one year after a child’s birth. The act also provides meaningful remedies for nursing mothers whose rights are violated.
“Workplace supports for pumping breast milk are critical because the majority of women return to work within a year of giving birth,” says Principal Deputy Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. “When a nursing worker has the right to break time and a private space to pump breast milk, they have greater peace of mind and are better able to continue breastfeeding if they choose.”
The campaign will focus on reaching employers, new and expecting parents, and vulnerable workers in industries largely affected by the changes. The Wage and Hour Division will host webinars for agriculture workers in September, retail and restaurant workers in October, care workers in November, teachers in December, and for transportation workers in January 2024.
The Wage and Hour Division is committed to helping ensure that nursing workers are protected under this law, and employers understand their obligations. For confidential PUMP Act compliance assistance, workers and employers can call the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243), regardless of where they are from. The department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.