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American City Business Journals Quotes Balch Partner Doug Kauffman on How New Guidance About The Pump Act Addresses Remote Workers

Doug Kauffman, partner in the firm’s Birmingham office and member of the Labor and Employment Practice, interviewed with the American City Business Journals to explain the new guidance from the Department of Labor about the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) and the impact of the new guidance on remote workers.

The American City Business Journals (ACBJ) quoted Doug in an article published June 8, 2023, in the series The Playbook, which is published on ACBJ’s websites in more than 40 metropolitan areas around the nation.

Doug explained steps companies should take to ensure compliance with the PUMP Act, which was included in the omnibus spending bill, signed by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29, 2022. It expanded protections for lactating mothers and outlined how employers are required to allow reasonable break time and a private place to pump breast milk. Enforcement began April 28, 2023.
Doug said it is noteworthy that new guidance about the PUMP Act from the Department of Labor specifically mentions remote work arrangements. 

“This guidance says you better be very flexible and you better be very accommodating," Doug was quoted as saying. "It’s clear that there is no limitation on the amount of breaks or the duration of these breaks."

Doug encouraged employers to consider setting up a notification system when a remote worker is taking a pumping break so their supervisors do not inadvertently interrupt. 

“The employer is not going to know that they are taking the break unless they receive your notice,” he is quoted as saying.

Doug also noted that the new guidance does not require companies to be responsible for ensuring pumping spaces at employee’s homes, while they are working remotely. 

Doug helps employers manage their most valuable assets —their employees. For more than 20 years, he has counseled large and small employers, helping them stay up to date on the law, regulations, and best practices with respect to employment compliance. When issues arise in the workplace, Doug provides real-time solutions. He also handles complaints or audits by various government agencies, such as the EEOC, the Department of Labor, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he litigates all employment issues in court. Well respected on both sides of the table, Doug is frequently invited to speak at seminars sponsored by government agencies.