On Dec. 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (or “PUMP Act“) into law. This new law expands workplace protections for women who are breastfeeding or expressing breast milk, providing legal coverage for some 9 million additional working moms. New Jersey law has recognized pregnant and/or breastfeeding women as a protected class under the Law Against Discrimination since 2018. If you believe that your employer has mistreated you in violation of the law because you were breastfeeding or pumping during the workday, you should talk to a New Jersey breastfeeding discrimination lawyer about what legal options exist for you.
While discrimination based on pregnancy has been a violation of federal law generally since 1978 (when the federal government enacted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act,) many holes in the federal law remained, leaving pregnant workers and working moms with infants vulnerable in a variety of ways, especially when it came to nursing their newborns or expressing breast milk for that baby.
Congress initially passed a bill to protect moms who breastfeed or pump at work in 2010, and President Obama signed it into law. However, because that language got placed in a provision of the federal statutes dealing with overtime compensation, moms who were not entitled to overtime pay were not covered by the 2010 law’s protections. That fraction represented roughly 25% of “working women of childbearing age,” according to the Economic Policy Institute.