Labor Department launches campaign to educate workplaces on rights of nursing mothers

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The United States Department of Labor announced a new effort to alert workplaces of the rights afforded to nursing mothers under new legislation.

"Research shows women of color and women rural communities suffer significantly higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity than their white and urban counterparts," reads the text of a press release from the Labor Department Thursday.


The Providing Urgent Protection for Nursing Mothers Act or "PUMP Act" requires workplaces to provide time and a private space for nursing mothers to pump breastmilk.

The legislation is designed to beef up protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which already has provisions requiring employers to allow employees to pump breastmilk.

The PUMP Act extends protections to millions of women who previously weren't covered under the FLSA, allows women to take legal action against workplaces that do not comply, and specifies that employers must pay employees for time they spend pumping breastmilk.

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour division is in charge of enforcing the PUMP Act and has launched a website to explain worker protections under the legislation.

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