October 21, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Providing Breastfeeding Mothers Option for Jury Duty Exemption

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Providing...

Governor Cuomo: "While jury service is a critically important civic duty, we also know new moms oftentimes juggle countless responsibilities and navigate enormous adjustments in the early stages of their child's life. This commonsense measure takes that reality into account by providing new moms the flexibility and option to postpone jury service while they care for a newborn."

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.748/A.5424) providing an exemption from jury duty for breastfeeding women. The service may be postponed up to two years.

"While jury service is a critically important civic duty, we also know new moms oftentimes juggle countless responsibilities and navigate enormous adjustments in the early stages of their child's life," Governor Cuomo said. "This commonsense measure takes that reality into account by providing new moms the flexibility and option to postpone jury service while they care for a newborn."

"We are working to increase access and reduce the stigma for breastfeeding mothers in New York," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new law will give mothers who are breastfeeding the option to postpone jury duty to help ensure the care and support needed during their pregnancy. This action builds on our efforts as part of the Women's Justice Agenda, working to achieve equality and justice for all New Yorkers. We will not stop fighting to make sure women's rights are protected, and attain true gender equality once and for all."

To postpone jury duty, the applicant must submit a note from a physician with her postponement application to verify she is breastfeeding. The service must not have already been postponed or excused. The provision takes effect immediately.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, "Nursing mothers have extraordinary commitments and this new law will remove one extra source of stress for them. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill so we can provide some real relief to breast feeding moms by allowing them to postpone jury duty."

Assembly Member Marcos Crespo said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation and advancing protections for nursing mothers. For years I advanced this bill understanding that breastfeeding is a crucial step in the development of a child and often can be an emotionally and physically challenging experience for women. The ability to postpone a nursing mother's jury duty will ensure that priority is placed first and foremost on the mother and the child's Health while maintaining the opportunity to fulfill one's civic duty at a later time."

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