New legislation in New Hampshire will guarantee the right of nursing mothers to an unpaid break of 30 minutes to pump for every three hours of work beginning July 1, 2025.  

This new state law comes in the wake of the 2022 federal PUMP Act, which requires employers nationwide to provide employees with reasonable break time to express breast milk for one year after a child’s birth.

Like the federal PUMP Act, the New Hampshire law will also require employers to provide nursing employees with appropriate spaces in the workplace for a period of one year following the birth of the child.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill, HB 358, into law on August 4, 2023. Under the law, all employers with at least six employees working in New Hampshire will be required to adopt policies to address the use of sufficient space and reasonable break periods for nursing employees that need to express milk during working hours. Employers will be required to make this policy available to employees at the time of hire.

“Expression of milk” is a defined term under the law. The law’s definition explicitly excludes breastfeeding, instead referring only to initiation of lactation by manual or mechanical means. As always, employers should consider whether there are other state or local laws that provide more generous rights regarding breastfeeding.

Employees will be required to give their employer at least two weeks’ notice prior to needing break periods and space.

The space provided to express milk must be within a reasonable walk of the employee’s worksite unless a different location is mutually agreed to by the employer and employee. The space cannot be a bathroom and must be a clean space shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Employees cannot be required to make up time related to use of this break period. Employees will have the option of taking their break period contemporaneously with break or meal periods already provided by the employer. Employers and employees may negotiate different terms for reasonable break periods than provided by the law.

The law provides employers a single exemption from its terms, only for instances in which providing a reasonable break period and sufficient space would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s operations. The law defines “undue hardship” as any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, its financial resources, and the nature and structure of its operation.

New Hampshire employers should consider their obligations under both the federal PUMP Act and this new state law. If you have any questions about navigating your obligations under lactation accommodation laws, please reach out to a Jackson Lewis lawyer.

More than four years since the passage of Oregon’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act into law, paid leave benefits will finally be available to Oregon employees starting September 3, 2023.  Applications for benefits, toolkits and quick start guides are all now available online at  Here is what employers need to know:


Any employee in Oregon that has earned at least $1,000 in the prior year may qualify for up to 12 weeks of paid family, medical or safe leave in a benefit year (with up to 2 additional weeks available for limitations relating to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition).  Employees will receive a percentage of their wages depending on how much they earned in the prior year.  Benefits are approved, calculated and paid through the state’s Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) program.  In 2023, the minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts will be $63.48 and $1,523.63 respectively. 

Employees who have worked for their employer at least 90 consecutive calendar days are also guaranteed job protection rights and employers must continue to provide the same health benefits and pension rights to those employees.


Since January 1, 2023, Oregon employers and employees have shared the cost of Paid Leave Oregon through a one percent post-tax contribution rate on the first $132,900 (adjusted annually) of each employee’s gross wages.  Employers are responsible for 40 percent of the total contribution rate while employees pay the other 60 percent.  Employers may opt to cover the entire contribution (including employees’ portion) as an additional benefit to employees.

Employers who opt to apply for approval and administer their own equivalent plans, together with their employees, may be exempt from the statewide contribution requirements.     

Notice Requirements 

Employers are required to provide written notice to employees of their rights and duties under the new law.  Paid Leave Oregon has developed a model poster that meets these requirements.  Employers must display the notice poster in each of the employer’s buildings or worksites in an area that is accessible to and regularly frequented by employees.  The notice must also be displayed in the languages an employer typically uses to communicate with its employees.  Employees assigned to remote work must receive the same notice by hand delivery, regular mail, email or another electronic delivery method.  

Employees, for their part, must give their employers 30 calendar days’ notice when commencing paid leave if the leave is foreseeable.  Employers may require that the notice be in writing.  If the leave is not foreseeable, the employee must give oral notice within 24 hours of the commencement of leave and must provide written notice within three days.    

PLO’s Relationship with Other Leave Laws

Paid Leave Oregon does not replace employees’ other leave entitlements under existing state and federal laws, such Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), Oregon Sick Leave (OSL) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  In general, if the employee qualifies for more than one leave entitlement, those benefits run concurrently.  For example, if an employee qualifying for both PLO and FMLA takes four weeks of protected leave for a serious health condition, those four weeks will draw down from both the employees’ PLO and FMLA banks. 

In practice, however, there will be a variety of circumstances where benefits will not run concurrently.  In those cases, employees may be able to “stack” various leaves beyond the individual time limitations set by each statute.  For example:

  • Under PLO and OFLA, employees may take protected leave to care for a broad range of “family members” who are otherwise not covered under FMLA, including unmarried domestic partners, grandparents and grandchildren, and friends whose close association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship.     
  • PLO provides safe leave for those experiencing domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking.  OFLA and FMLA do not. 
  • Employee eligibility requirements differ among the various leave laws.  An employee may be eligible for some PLO benefits immediately after hire, but not other benefits until six months (OFLA) or a full year (FMLA) after hire.  Part time employees may be eligible for PLO but never become eligible for OFLA or FMLA. 

Paid Leave Oregon and the Oregon State Legislature have worked to minimize some but not all presumably unintended consequences.  Oregon employers must carefully develop and maintain attendance tracking systems to account for their employees’ use of the different leaves available.  

PTO “Top Offs”

Higher earners in Oregon who take PLO leave will receive only a percentage of their weekly wages or salaries through the PLO program.  Oregon’s paid leave law therefore gives employers discretion to allow their employees to use other accrued paid leave benefits (PTO, vacation time, etc.) to supplement their weekly income and avoid an effective pay cut while out on leave.

Employers who opt to allow employees to use their accrued paid leave benefits while out on PLO leave will face some obvious administrative hurdles.  This is because PLO, not the employer, is responsible for receiving and approving employee applications for paid leave benefits, and for calculating and paying out the benefit amounts.  Employers will need to coordinate closely with their employees and PLO to determine the amount and duration of any accrued paid benefit supplements.   

Additionally, unlike PLO, OFLA and FMLA give employees the right in most instances to demand that their employers apply their accrued paid leave benefits during periods of unpaid leave.  In other words, the employer does not have discretion whether to allow or disallow the use of accrued paid leave benefits under OFLA and FMLA.  According to Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”), in cases where an employee’s PLO leave runs concurrently with FMLA or OFLA leave, the employer must allow the use of accrued paid leave benefits.   

Out of State Workers

Employers also have questions about their employees living or working in other states, including when these employees are covered under Oregon Paid Leave laws and when the employer and employee are required to make PLO contributions.  Paid Leave Oregon, in conjunction with Washington State’s Employment Security Department, has issued helpful guidance on these questions, including a three-step analysis for determining PLO coverage and a number of illustrative examples. 

Under this published guidance, PLO first asks where the work is performed.  If all the work is physically performed in Oregon, all wages are reportable to Oregon.  Second, if the work is performed in multiple states with regularity, including Oregon, PLO looks to the base of operations or from where direction and control of the employee emanates.  If the answer is Oregon, then all wages are reportable to Oregon.  Finally, if the work is performed in multiple states with regularity, including Oregon, and the direction and control emanates from another state, then PLO looks to where the employee resides.  If the employee resides in Oregon, then all wages are reportable to Oregon.

Oregon’s paid leave laws are complex and remain the subject of new administrative rules, legislative amendments and interpretive guidance.  If you have questions or need assistance with PLO or leave laws more generally, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you often work, or any member of our Disability, Leave and Health Management team.

On August 11, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) formally published proposed regulations to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA).  In a matter of just under 9 months, since the law was enacted at the end of 2022, the EEOC crafted 275+ pages worth of regulations, preamble and interpretive guidance to fill in the gaps found in the 10 page statute. The proposed regulations contain some interpretations that were largely expected and some surprises. The proposed regulations are subject to a 60-day comment period and will surely change before being finalized. The PWFA requires the EEOC to issue final regulations by December 29, 2023. For a deep dive into the proposed regulations, check out our article here.  Below is a quick overview of some of the important questions addressed by the EEOC in the proposed regulations.

  1. Who is entitled to an accommodation? Qualified employees limited due to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical condition, as long as the accommodation does not create an undue hardship. Unlike the ADA, an employee who cannot perform their essential duties may still be qualified.
  2. What is a “known limitation”? A mental or physical impediment or problem related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including common or minor conditions that has been communicated to the employer. 
  3. What types of conditions and circumstances are included under the umbrella of “pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions”? Conditions that are commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth, as well as many others that may not be.
  4. The PWFA says that an employee can be qualified, and therefore eligible for accommodations when the employee has a temporary inability to perform the essential job functions. How long does an employer have to excuse an employee from performing essential functions?  The proposed regulations require employers excuse essential job functions for generally up to 40 weeks per accommodation request, subject to undue hardship.
  5. If the employee can perform the essential functions of the job but will need an accommodation to do so, does the limitation have to be temporary? No.
  6. When does accommodating an employee who cannot perform the essential functions of the job create an undue hardship?  An employer may be able to demonstrate an undue hardship when removing an essential function would impose significant difficulty or expense. The proposed regulations identify factors for employers to consider.
  7. Do the regulations provide a list of common accommodations for pregnant employees that employers should usually grant quickly and without supporting documentation?  Yes.
  8. If an employee requests leave as an accommodation, how much leave must an employer provide? There is no bright line rule.
  9. If an employee has paid leave available under a state or local paid sick leave law or under an employer provided paid leave policy or benefit program, can the employee be required to use that paid leave to run concurrently with time off as a reasonable accommodation under the PWFA? No, employees must be given the opportunity to choose in the same manner employees on other types of leave are permitted to choose.
  10. Can an employer choose to provide an alternative, effective accommodation? In most cases, yes.
  11. Can employers ask for medical documentation to support an accommodation request? Sometimes. 
  12. How long should it take to process a PWFA reasonable accommodation request? It depends. 
  13. Are employers required to provide lactation accommodations under the PWFA? Yes, absent undue hardship.
  14. How should employers manage concerns that the workplace or the position presents safety risks for the pregnant employee or the pregnancy?  Safety can still be part of the undue hardship analysis.
  15. Other than the four common accommodations for pregnant employees discussed above, does the EEOC give employers guidance on what kind of accommodations might be considered reasonable, absent undue hardship? The EEOC has provided a non-exhaustive list of possible accommodations.
  16. If the employee is granted an accommodation that reduces the employee’s work time, does the employer have to do anything else to make the accommodation effective?  Perhaps.

Six Steps To Consider Taking Now

There are six steps employers may want to consider taking now. 

  1. Review the proposed regulations, and the examples included in the proposed regulations so you can better understand how the EEOC is currently interpreting this new law.
  2. When handling accommodation requests, keep in mind that if another federal, state or local law provides greater protection or different requirements, those laws will also apply. Currently there are 30 states and 5 local jurisdictions with their own version of the PWFA or a pregnancy accommodation law.
  3. Covered employers are required to post notices describing the PWFA. An updated EEO poster is available on the EEOC website.  
  4. Consider whether changes need to be made to existing forms and practices to comply with the PWFA and in light of the proposed regulations while recognizing that these regulations are subject to change.
  5. Consider training your HR professionals, managers and first-line supervisors on how to identify and respond to requests for PWFA accommodations.
  6. Consider whether you want to submit comments on the EEOC’s proposed regulations during the 60-day comment period.

The most important thing to do at this stage is to keep in mind that these proposed regulations are just that—proposed. They represent the EEOC’s current interpretation of the PWFA before the agency has had an opportunity to consider comments and questions from the public. The proposed regulations will undoubtedly be revised after the comment period expires and a final set of regulations will be issued.

Want to learn more?

Please register to join us on September 14, for an in-depth discussion about these proposed regulations: EEOC’s Proposed PWFA Regulations: Oh Mama! – Jackson Lewis

If you have any questions about the PWFA, the implications of the proposed regulations for your organization or are interested in working with Jackson Lewis to provide comments to the EEOC, please contact a Jackson Lewis lawyer. As always, if you want to stay on top of changes and updates regarding the PWFA, subscribe to our Disability, Leave and Health Management Blog.

Illinois passed a new law that will extend the amount of unpaid leave that employees are entitled to for certain categories of child bereavement. The Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (CEBLA), which was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 4, 2023 and will take effect on January 1, 2024, will require covered Illinois employers with 50 or more employees to allow additional amounts of unpaid leave to employees who suffer the loss of a child due to homicide or suicide. Originally enacted in 2016, the Child Bereavement Leave Act was previously amended January 1, 2023, and renamed as the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA) to expand the definition of family members covered and also include fertility-related losses in the acceptable reasons for use of FBLA.

Impacted Employers

The CEBLA creates new requirements for Illinois employers with 50 or more full-time employees. Employers in Illinois with between 50 and 249 full-time employees will be required to provide 6 weeks of unpaid leave to employees who lose a child to homicide or suicide. Employers with more than 250 full-time employees must provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave to affected employees.

Requirements and Definitions

Before being entitled to CEBLA leave, employees must have worked for their employer for at least two weeks. Employees must take CEBLA leave within one year from when they notify their employer of their child’s death. Leave can be taken either in a single continuous period or intermittently in increments of no less than four hours. If an employee takes unpaid leave under the CEBLA, however, they cannot also seek additional unpaid leave under the FBLA relating to the same bereavement.

Employers can require reasonable advance notice and documentation from employees intending to take CEBLA leave. Required documentation can be in the form of a death certificate, published obituary, or other written verification of death. An employer can also require that the documentation states the child’s cause of death.

The CEBLA defines a “child” to include biological, adopted, foster, and stepchildren, as well as legal wards and children of people legally serving in place of a parent (in loco parentis).

When returning from bereavement leave, employees are entitled to the position they held when the leave began. If that position has been filled or is no longer available, returning employees are entitled to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and job responsibilities.

It should be noted, the Act does not extend the maximum leave entitled under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or any other federal, state, or local act. Additionally, if an employee is part of a workplace governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), this Act does not extend any leave entitled through that CBA.

The Illinois Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) was also recently amended to expand leave available to employees grieving a family member’s death arising from a crime of violence. Employers operating in Illinois should carefully review the CEBLA and VESSA in conjunction with their policies and practices related to bereavement leave. Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to answer inquiries and assist with these and other workplace issues.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued proposed regulations (NPRM) to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee’s or applicant’s known limitation related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity.

Learn more here.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new technical assistance document (“TAD”), “Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with visual disabilities. Like the technical assistance the EEOC published earlier this year on hearing disabilities in the workplace, the EEOC provides a series of questions and answers as well as example workplace scenarios involving individuals with visual impairments. In particular the TAD addresses the following:

  • when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a vision impairment and how an employer should treat voluntary disclosures;
  • what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with visual disabilities may need;
  • how an employer should handle safety concerns about applicants and employees with visual disabilities; and
  • how an employer can ensure that no employee is harassed because of a visual disability.

The TAD is not binding law but reflects the EEOC’s enforcement position on topics informative for all employers navigating their obligations under the ADA.

The TAD provides insight into visual disabilities, and how they may trigger ADA obligations. For example, the EEOC explains that not everyone who wears glasses is visually disabled. For individuals who wear “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses,” the ADA directs the employer to assess their visual impairment as it is corrected by the lenses. In addition, the EEOC identifies potential accommodations for individuals with visual disabilities, such as use of assistive technology like text-to-speech software, braille, allowing the use of guide dogs in the work area, ambient adjustments (such as brighter office lights), larger print, or training and test modifications to accommodate the visual impairment. The TAD includes an extensive list of potential assistive or accessible technology or materials as well as other potential strategies for accommodating individuals with visual disabilities in the workplace.

The EEOC also reminds employers that in some instances algorithmic or AI tools may “screen out” individuals with vision disabilities even though they are able to do the job with or without reasonable accommodation. For example, if an AI assessment’s accuracy is reduced when an applicant has a visual disability, the employer may need to consider an alternative assessment. The EEOC discusses “promising practices” that employers can take to ensure that AI tools do not disadvantage individuals with disabilities.

The EEOC also addresses when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a vision impairment. The EEOC reminds employers that the ADA’s rules about disability-related inquiries and medical exams apply to all applicants and employees regardless of whether they have an ADA disability. “An employer cannot require an individual to take a vision test with uncorrected vision or meet a vision standard with uncorrected vision unless that test or standard, as used by this employer, is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

The TAD provides a detailed discussion of the ADA rules regarding medical inquiries and exams at the pre-offer, post-offer and employment stages with examples involving vision impairments. At the pre-offer stage, for example, the EEOC reminds employers that they cannot ask an applicant whether they have a condition that affects their vision or may have caused a vision impairment but an employer may ask an applicant questions pertaining to the ability to perform job functions with or without reasonable accommodation such as the following:

  • whether the applicant can read labels on packages that need to be stocked;
  • whether the applicant can work the night shift; or
  • whether the applicant can inspect small electronic components to determine if they have been damaged.

The EEOC’s TAD also discusses how employers can address safety concerns. The EEOC’s position is that employers may exclude individuals with visual or other disabilities from a job for safety reasons only when the individual poses a direct threat to the employee, co-workers or others. If an employer reasonably believes the employee cannot safely perform the essential functions of the job (because of a visual or other impairment), the employer may conduct an individualized assessment of that employee’s ability to safely perform the essential functions of the job. That determination must be made based on reasonable medical judgment. If an employer’s vision-related job requirement is required by safety-related federal law or regulation, however, the EEOC explains that qualification standard will be a permissible business necessity under the ADA. The EEOC reminds employer to carefully review any applicable law including any potential waivers or exceptions that may apply.

It is important to also keep in mind any state or local laws that may provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA. If you have any questions about navigating your obligations under the ADA, please reach out to a Jackson Lewis lawyer.

While students are enjoying the dog days of summer, California employers may want to review leaves available to parents and caregivers before the school year begins.

Just as there are considerations when employing minors, there are also leave entitlements employers should be aware of when employing parents and caregivers.

Under the Labor Code, “Parent” is defined as “a parent, guardian, stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent of, or a person who stands in loco parentis to, a child.”

Learn more here.

A new Louisiana law goes into effect on August 1, 2023 requiring employers to provide time off from work for genetic testing and cancer screening.

Employer Requirements

The new act requires employers in Louisiana to provide employees a one-day leave of absence from work to obtain genetic testing or for cancer screening as long as it is medically necessary.

­What Will be Considered to Be “Medically Necessary”?

  • “Medically necessary” is defined as healthcare services that are in accordance with generally accepted evidence-based medical standards by most physicians or independent licensed practitioners “within the community of their respective professional organizations to be the standard of care.” 
  • The act also states that to be “medically necessary,” services being provided must be “reasonably necessary to diagnose, correct, cure, alleviate, or prevent the worsening of a condition or conditions that endanger life, cause suffering or pain, or have resulted or will result in a handicap, physical deformity, or malfunction, and those for which no equally effective and less costly course of treatment is available or suitable for the recipient.”
  • Services that are experimental and not approved by the Federal Drug Administration are not considered medically necessary.  Nor is an investigational or cosmetic surgery.

What is Protected Information? 

“Protected genetic information” means “information about an individual’s genetic tests, the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, or the occurrence of a disease, or medical condition or disorder in family members of the individual.”

Employee Obligations

Employees should give at least fifteen days’ notice to the employer prior to the leave and to make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave so as not to cause undue disruption of the employer’s operations. Employees are also required to provide documentation confirming the performance of the genetic testing and/or cancer screening.  Of course, employees are not required to disclose the results of the screening.  Nor should an employer inquire about results of genetic or cancer testing under the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. 

Is the Leave Paid?

Employers are not required to pay for the time off necessary for genetic testing and/or cancer screenings.  The employee may elect, however, to substitute any accrued paid time off that the employer provides.  The act is silent as to whether the employer can require an employee to use paid time off for the leave. 

When Is the Act Effective?

The Act is effective on August 1, 2023.

Don’t Forget about GINA.

Under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

What Should Employers Do Now?

Employers will be required to post a notice that will be prepared by the Louisiana Workforce Commission that sets forth the requirements of the act.  Employers should be on the lookout for the poster from the Louisiana Workforce Commission and review their policies. 

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist employers in administering their leave programs and complying with the myriad of state laws.  Please contact your Jackson Lewis lawyer with any questions.

Starting on August 7, 2023, Colorado employees will be able to use paid sick leave for additional reasons under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 23-017 into law on June 2, 2023, and it is expected to become effective on August 7, 2023.

Previously, the HFWA permitted employees to use up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year for reasons related to an employee’s or an employee’s family member’s illness, injury or health condition, to obtain services related to being a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment or if the employee’s place of business or the employee’s child’s school or place of care closed due to a public health emergency. Starting August 7, 2023, Colorado employees can use paid sick for the following additional reasons:

1. To grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a family member;

2. To care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the closure of the family member’s school or place of care; or

3. The employee needs to evacuate the employee’s place of residence due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the need to evacuate the employee’s residence.

Employers will need to notify employees of their right to use paid sick leave under these additional circumstances.  Employers should update their policies and post the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment updated poster.

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Supplemental paid leave is no longer available for COVID public health emergency reasons.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, employees could receive up to 80 hours of supplemental paid leave for related reasons, such as the employee’s or a family member’s need to obtain medical services or isolate due to the public health emergency, or if the employee’s or a family member’s place of business closed or the employee’s child’s school or place of care closed due to the public health emergency. The federal public health emergency declaration related to COVID-19 ended on May 11, 2023, and Colorado’s COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Order expired on May 5, 2023. Since there is currently no public health emergency declaration in effect, Colorado employees are not entitled to supplemental paid leave related to a public health emergency as of June 8, 2023.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist employers in updating their leave policies and administering their leave programs to comply with the myriad of state laws.  Please contact your Jackson Lewis lawyer with any questions.