Federal Government and NYS Expand Protections for Pregnant and Nursing Employees
New York State Protections
Employers in New York State should be aware of recent changes to Section 206-c of the New York Labor Law, which expands protections afforded to employees who are pregnant and/or nursing. Taking effect on June 7, 2023, Section 206-c requires employers to adopt the New York State Department of Labor’s Model Policy for expressing breast milk in the workplace.
The Model Policy requires employers to “provide reasonable unpaid break time for their employees to express breast milk” and employees must also be permitted “to use their paid break time or meal time to express breast milk.” Employers must provide this time for three (3) years post-childbirth.
The Model Policy also describes workplace lactation room requirements, stating that the “space provided for breast milk expression cannot be a restroom or toilet stall” and the “employer may not deny an employee the right to express breast milk in the workplace due to difficulty in finding a location.”
Employees must provide their employers with reasonable advance notice, in writing, of a lactation accommodation request.
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the “Appropriations ”), into law. The Law includes the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (“PUMP Act”) and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”), which expand federal protections for pregnant and nursing employees.
Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must provide, for one (1) year following the birth of a child, nursing employees with reasonable break time and a private space that is shielded from view and free from intrusion, other than a restroom, to express breastmilk during the workday. The PUMP Act took effect on April 28, 2023.
The PWFA requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to an employee’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.” The PWFA took effect on June 27, 2023.
The information provided on this website and in this news alert does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available here are for general informational purposes only.
If you have questions regarding legal obligations for lactation accommodations, please contact Rupp Pfalzgraf LLC at 716-854-3400.