Committee Advances Bills to Protect Nursing Mothers and Older Workers

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee advanced two bills to combat workplace discrimination, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (HR. 3110) and the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) (H.R. 2062). 

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act ensures nursing mothers are provided the time and privacy they need to pump at work to keep themselves and their infants healthy. The bipartisan bill is supported by worker advocates, civil rights and public health groups, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

It was advanced out of Committee by a vote of 28– 19, with 0 Republicans in favor.  

“For nursing workers, access to these protections has always been critical for balancing work and the health of both themselves and their infants.  But it is particularly essential now as women return to work after disproportionally suffering from employment losses during the pandemic,” said Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03)The bipartisan, bicameral PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would expand access to existing protections for nursing workers to the nearly 9 million employees who are currently left out.” 

The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) restores legal protections for older workers so they can hold employers accountable for age discrimination. The bill addresses a 2009 Supreme Court decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. that set an extremely difficult burden of proof for workers alleging discrimination based on their age. 

POWADA, which passed the House in a bipartisan vote last year, simply aligns the burden of proof for age discrimination with the standard used for discrimination based on race and nationality.  

The bill was advanced out of Committee by a vote of 29 – 18, with 1 Republicans in favor. 

“This standard is a needless barrier to workplace fairness for older workers who have long been vulnerable to workplace discrimination.  In fact, more than half of older workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire,” Scott continued “Age discrimination also holds back our economy.  Research by AARP and the Economist Intelligence Unit found that, absent age discrimination, older workers would have contributed $850 billion more in 2018 to the Gross Domestic Product. It is clear that our labor market and economy cannot fully recover if we fail to include and protect our nation’s older workers.” 

To read Chairman Scott’s full remarks, click here


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