Industry-Specific Guidance for PUMP Act


All Employers


January 8, 2024


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Quick Look

  • The Department of Labor released additional guidance to assist the restaurant and retail, agriculture, care, transportation, and education industries in determining how to comply with the PUMP Act requirements.
  • Employers may create temporary or shared spaces for pumping, provided that each space and person is shielded from view and free from intrusion.
  • Employers cannot use lactation breaks against employees for purposes of determining quota or production requirements.
  • Employees cannot be interrupted during lactation breaks or be required to find someone to cover for them during their lactation breaks.


The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) went into effect on April 28, 2023 and applies to all employers. It requires employers to provide nursing employees with reasonable break time and a private space to express breast milk. Now, the Department of Labor (DOL) has been releasing additional guidance to assist specific industries, like the restaurant and retail, agriculture, healthcare, and education industries, in determining how they should comply with these requirements. The guidance typically includes a recorded webinar, presentation slides, and FAQs with specific examples for that industry.

For the restaurant and retail industry, the DOL advises the following for employers who are restricted in options for providing a private space to express breast milk: “Employers can create temporary space for pumping by providing dividers and signs in a portion of a storage room, allowing the employee to block or turn off cameras to ensure the space is shielded from view and free from intrusion, and providing a chair and a table for the employee. Alternately, the employee could be allowed to use the manager’s office, allowing the employee to block or turn off any cameras and use the lock or signage to prevent intrusion, as long as the space is available each time the employee needs to pump.”

For employees that must meet productivity measures, the DOL clarifies that employers cannot hold the time that employees take for pump breaks against them when determining if a productivity measure or quota was met. Employees also cannot be required to make up time they took for the pump breaks. This means employers cannot add working time to an employee’s normal schedule to “make up” for the break time.

For those in the healthcare industry (e.g., hospitals, assisted living centers, medical facilities, etc.), employers cannot interrupt employees on pump breaks to ask them to respond to a resident’s needs. “When an employee is using break time at work to express breast milk, they either must be completely relieved from duty or must be paid for the break time.” Similarly, employers cannot require employees to find someone to cover for them when they take pump breaks. Employers may use strategies like using temporary staff or floating staff to fill-in for workers when they must be away from their duty station. The DOL also clarified that employers may choose to provide a shared space, such as a large room with privacy screens between employees, for multiple employees to simultaneously to pump; however, the employer must ensure that all employees are shielded from view and free from intrusion when pumping, including from co-workers who are also pumping.

Employers should continue to monitor the DOL’s website as more resources are released.

Action Items

  1. Review the additional guidance here.
  2. Review policies for appropriate administration of lactation break periods.
  3. Identify potential spaces for private lactation.
  4. Train appropriate personnel on the requirements.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2024 ManagEase