Skip to Content
Philly Employment Lawyer Philly Employment Lawyer

Serving PA and NJ  | 

Free Consultation 267-273-1054

Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

April 5, 2024 Pregnancy Discrimination

Your Rights Under Pennsylvania Law

In 2007, the Pennsylvania Freedom to Breastfeed Act was signed into law. This law allows mothers to nurse in public, and prevents that from being considered indecent exposure, obscenity, sexual conduct or a public nuisance. But how does this law affect nursing employees at work?

The law specifies that you are permitted to breastfeed in any location—public or private—as long as you otherwise have permission to be there. However, it does not mention pumping at work—which may be a necessity for nursing mothers. Pennsylvania does not currently have statewide legislation that protects pumping in the workplace.

But that doesn’t mean you have no protections at all. Here are the protections you currently have that allow you to pump at work.

Laws at the Federal Level 

At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects nursing employees under the expanded Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act, which was signed into law in December 2022.

Under this law, nursing employees are allowed to take reasonable breaks to pump. The reasonable break time must be provided each time you need to express milk, and the employer can’t deny you a break. The right to a break to express milk also applies to remote workers.

In addition, employees are to be provided a private place to express breast milk. This location must be protected from view and be a private space, free of intrusion from either co-workers or members of the public—and it cannot be a bathroom. The room doesn’t have to be available only for the nursing employee, but must be available and private whenever that employee needs it.

For remote workers, employers must provide time to express milk without being observed through a video system.

The right extends for as much as a year after the baby’s birth.

Local laws That Protect Breastfeeding Employees 

Despite a lack of protection at the state level, two of Pennsylvania’s largest municipalities have enacted laws at the local level that introduce additional protections.

Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance requires all employers in the city to provide reasonable break time and a private space to pump in the workplace.

This law expands FLSA protections for nursing mothers in the workplace. Under the FLSA, employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from breastfeeding protection laws if those laws constitute an undue hardship. Under Philadelphia law, all employers must comply.

Pittsburgh. The Mayor of Pittsburgh enacted an executive order in 2018 that requires city buildings to provide lactation rooms for both employees and guests. However, this only applies to construction of new buildings and those currently under renovation.

Questions About Your Rights Under These Laws? Contact an Attorney

If you feel your employer may have violated your rights to express milk at work, you should speak to a knowledgeable employment lawyer. Your attorney will be able to assess the situation, determine whether your employer broke the law, and help you gain restitution in court.

We have helped many employees facing issues of this kind and we can help you, too. Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today. 

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.