On December 9, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law expanding protections for breastfeeding employees in New York. The law, which applies to all public and private employers in the state, regardless of size, took effect on June 7, 2023.
As a reminder, the law requires that:
All employers must provide lactation rooms or spaces meeting certain specifications for breastfeeding employees to express breast milk;
All employers adopt a written policy regarding workplace lactation rights developed by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL);
NYSDOL’s model lactation accommodation policy must be given to employees at hire and annually thereafter. Employers must also provide employees with written notice of this law upon returning to work after the birth of their child.
The NYSDOL finally released its long-awaited model policy (New York State Department of Labor’s Policy on the Rights of Employees to Express Breast Milk) Employers are required to distribute this model policy created by the NYS DOL, even if an employer has its own lactation accommodation policy. Employers can include additional accommodations to fit the needs of their workplace, however they must implement the minimum standards set forth in the model policy.
The model policy complies with the law’s requirements in that it:
Informs employees of their rights provided by New York lactation accommodation law;
Provides a description of how an employee may submit a request to the employer for a room or other location to express breast milk; and
Explains the requirements that an employer must respond to employee requests within a reasonable timeframe not to exceed five business days.
Contact PMP if you have any further questions regarding this new law.