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Law Expands Breastfeeding Accommodations In State Businesses

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Legislation to expand accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace was signed on Friday by state Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Legislation now requires all employers in New York to ensure that pumping spaces are convenient and private, as well as include seating, access to running water and electricity, and a working space. It will also require employers to develop and implement a written policy regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. The new legislation will ensure that all employees across the state will receive the same basic accommodations that public employees currently receive.

“Every nursing mother deserves access to a safe, hygienic, and convenient space to pump in the workplace,” Hochul said. “By requiring employers to provide quality accommodations, this legislation will help employees feel comfortable and respected when breastfeeding.”

Currently, employers must give reasonable break times and make reasonable efforts to provide a space for employees to pump breast milk, but this standard falls below the requirements in place for government employees. This legislation will ensure that all workplaces across the state have safe, clean pumping spaces by requiring employers to expand accommodations for breastfeeding.

The new law will also require employers to adopt a policy developed by the New York State Department of Labor regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. Employers must provide the written policy to each employee upon hire and annually thereafter, as well as to employees returning to work after the birth of a child.

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