Miller-Meeks Introduces Bill Supporting Nursing Mothers
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2021
Today, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) introduced the Supporting Working Mothers Act, which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to expand access to nursing accommodations in the workplace, without placing one-size-fits-all mandates on all employers.
H.R. 4297 will guarantee that executive, administrative, and professional employees are granted the same nursing accommodations that hourly workers enjoy under current law while rejecting the Democrats’ sweeping and punitive scheme that would burden job creators and violate women’s privacy.
“Nursing mothers deserve reasonable accommodations in the workplace. I have two children and I worked full time when they were infants,” said Miller-Meeks. “My Supporting Working Mothers Act would provide reasonable break time and accommodations for breastfeeding mothers, without burdening businesses. I am proud to introduce this commonsense legislation.”
The Supporting Working Mothers Act would maintain current-law protections for hourly workers while extending those same nursing accommodations to “white-collar” executive, administrative, and professional employees, including academic personnel and teachers in elementary and secondary schools. The legislation clarifies that nursing breaks are compensable if an employer requires that work is actively performed, which ensures women are paid for their work and that their privacy is protected. The bill also maintains penalties for failure to provide the required accommodations, preserves the ability of the Department of Labor to ensure compliance with the required accommodations, and creates an alternative dispute process to allow employers a limited time to correct any violations before enforcement proceedings begin. Finally, the bill ensures that small businesses are safeguarded by maintaining the currentlaw undue hardship exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
Read the full text of the bill here.