CAA23: Health Plan and Employment Law Changes
February 1, 2023
In late December 2022, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (CAA23). This event should trigger the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) to publish additional information and regulations in 2023.
There are two important provisions that impact employers:
- Effective immediately is the “Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act” (PUMP Act); an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers should review HR policies and employee handbooks to ensure that all language is in place to recognize an employee’s right to break, as needed, to express breast milk. There are special stipulations to address location (that the location should be sanitary, private and a “non-bathroom” location) within the employment facility.
There is a small employer exemption for employers with fewer than 50 employees, who may have a hardship due to various situations, including expense. More information on the PUMP Act can be found on the DOL website here: Break Time for Nursing Mothers | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
- Effective in six months (by July 4, 2023) is the “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” (PWFA). This act applies to pregnancy discrimination and protects the rights of employees to ask for temporary accommodations* related to pregnancy as well as the right of pregnancy employees to take maternity leave. Employers should review their internal policies and HR materials to ensure compliance.
*Accommodations could be allowing the employee a stool to sit while working, additional bathroom breaks, a change of schedule to allow time to recover from morning sickness or the ability to carry a water bottle on the job.
Employers may want to consider ways to avoid:
- Not making reasonable accommodations;
- Require a qualified employee to accept another accommodation; and/or
- Require the qualified employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided.