NY’s new law requiring paid break time for breast milk expression starts June 19

Posted 18 June 2024 at 9:04 am

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that a new law requiring employers to provide 30 minutes of paid break time for employees to express breast milk goes into effect on Wednesday. This mandate applies whenever employees have a reasonable need to express breast milk and extends up to three years following childbirth.

“As New York’s first mom Governor, I am fighting every day to give working parents the protections they need to keep their families strong and healthy,” Governor Hochul said. “From our nation-leading prenatal leave program to this legislation requiring employers to give breastfeeding mothers much-needed break time, our state is continuing to stand up for parents in the workplace and protect maternal and child health.”

Comprehensive information about employee rights and employer requirements regarding breast milk expression in the workplace is available on the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) dedicated resource page (click here).

Under the new law, employees can also use existing paid break time or mealtime for any time in excess of 30 minutes. This marks a significant shift from the previous requirement, where employers were only obligated to provide reasonable unpaid break time for this purpose.

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “This legislation represents a major victory for working parents across New York State. By providing paid break time for breast milk expression, we are not only supporting parents and their babies but also reinforcing the importance of family-friendly workplace policies. The Department of Labor remains committed to ensuring that all employers comply with these new standards and that all employees are aware of their rights.”