Stacy Hickox spoke with Verywell family about two new laws that benefit pregnant workers and breastfeeding parents. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) “provides workers and applicants with the right to reasonable accommodations related to their pregnancy,” says Hickox.
The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act expands the rights first established in the Affordable Care Act. According to Hickox, “Before now, this right was limited to workers who are not exempt from the right to overtime pay. Obviously, many nursing parents work in salaried positions performing duties that do not entitle them to overtime pay, but they still have a need to express milk during the workday.”
Hickox explains how employees can seek help if they feel their accommodations are not being met. She recommends first going to your human resources department to request an accommodation. If this is unsuccessful, the PWFA is enforced by the EEOC. A private sector employee can file a charge with the regional EEOC office, or a state civil rights office, Hickox explains. “That office will then investigate the charge, try to resolve the claim, and likely provide the worker with a right to sue letter, allowing the worker to file a complaint in federal court.”
The Department of Labor (DOL) enforces the PUMP Act and Hickox says a complaint can be filed with a local DOL office.
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