Workplace issues

Pregnancy-related protections

The Pregnancy Workers Fairness Act

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) requires the Postal Service to provide reasonable accommodations to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.”

Examples of possible reasonable accommodations include:

Additionally, under the PWFA, the Postal Service may not:

For more information, see the EEOC What You Should Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA protected leave can be used for a new child in the family or for serious health conditions which arise. FMLA guarantees eligible letter carriers up to 12 weeks of leave each postal year for:

The FMLA guarantees time off, whether paid or unpaid. The type of leave taken depends on the reasons for the leave and the usual postal leave regulations. There are eligibility criteria, medical certification guidelines and other detailed rules governing letter carrier rights to FMLA leave.

Learn more about FMLA.

Protections to Pump at Work

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, most employees have the right to take reasonable break time to express breast milk for their nursing child. For one year after the child’s birth, covered employees may take reasonable break time “each time such employee has need to express the milk.” An employer may not deny a covered employee a needed break to pump.

Employees must be provided with a private location, other than a bathroom, which is free from intrusion.

Under the FLSA, when an employee is using break time at work to express breast milk they either:

Employees that utilize their paid breaks to pump breast milk must be compensated for the break time as normal.

Read more about these FLSA protections.


EEOC – What You Should Know About the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
DOL – FLSA Protections to Pump at Work
USPS – Policy on Accommodation of Pregnant and Nursing Workers
DOL – WHD 1088 Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act