News Release

Joint statement by Acting Secretary of Labor Su, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Burrows on anniversary of PWFA, PUMP Act

First anniversary of new laws demonstrates wins for pregnant and nursing workers

WASHINGTONActing Secretary of Labor Julie Su and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Charlotte A. Burrows today issued a joint statement to mark the first anniversary of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act:

“On Dec. 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law much-needed and long overdue workplace protections for pregnant and nursing workers. We celebrate the first anniversary of legislation that so many long fought for to create more equitable workplaces. 

“Failures to accommodate limitations related to pregnancy and nursing have long acted as barriers to equitable workforce participation by women. It’s more apparent than ever that limiting pregnant and nursing workers’ opportunities hurts them and their families and limits the size of our labor force and the strength of our economy. Since these laws have been in effect, we have already seen that the PWFA and the PUMP Act are helping support the health and economic security of pregnant, postpartum, and nursing workers and their families nationwide.

“The PWFA is a tremendous step forward for families because it gives pregnant workers access to reasonable accommodations, allowing them to keep doing their jobs free from discrimination and retaliation. This law enables workers with limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions to obtain changes at work that could help them stay employed and healthy during pregnancy and while they recover from childbirth, when doing so  would not pose an undue hardship for the employer. These accommodations can be as simple as more frequent bathroom breaks or modifications to no-food policies. The law protects part-time, temporary and seasonal workers as well as full-time employees in all industries.

“The PUMP Act extends the right to break time and a private place to pump at work to millions more nursing workers and provides remedies for nursing workers whose rights have been violated. Before the PUMP Act, millions of workers had to choose either not to pump or to continue pumping and face possible discrimination, harassment or job loss as a result. The protections the PUMP Act enshrined into law will continue to empower new parents to express milk at work, providing greater peace of mind and reducing potential economic, mental health and physical consequences for nursing workers.

“Our agencies have been busy working together to make referrals, coordinate investigations, cross train federal personnel and  educate workers about their new rights and employers about their responsibilities under the new laws. Together, we have developed a series on maternal health to share information about the protections provided by both laws and a new “Know Your Rights” resource outlining key federal workplace protections for pregnant, postpartum and pumping workers. The Department of Labor has launched an industry-specific webinar series on the PUMP Act, and the EEOC provides a host of resources related to the PWFA.

“We look forward to continuing to educate workers, employers, and our partners throughout the country on these laws and the protections they provide.”

Office of the Secretary
January 8, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Grace Hagerty
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