December 9, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Expand Accommodations for Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Expand Accommodations for Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Legislation (S.4844-B/A.1236-A) Requires All Employers in New York To Provide Convenient, Private Pumping Spaces that Include Seating, Access to Running Water and Electricity, and a Working Space

Also Requires Employers To Develop and Implement a Written Policy Regarding Employee Rights when Breastfeeding in the Workplace

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Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation to expand accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace. Legislation (S.4844-B/A.1236-A) 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," Governor Hochul said. "By requiring employers to provide quality accommodations, this legislation will help employees feel comfortable and respected when breastfeeding." 

Legislation (S.4844-B/A.1236-A) requires all employers in New York to provide convenient, private pumping spaces in the workplace that include seating, access to running water and electricity, and a working space. 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.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, "Nursing mothers deserve the same healthcare protections and accommodations, regardless of where they work. I am proud that Governor Hochul has signed S4844B, my bill to require employers to provide employees with access to private lactation rooms. No one should ever have to choose between providing for their child and their job, and we must continue to ensure that workplaces across New York are accessible and equitable for all."

Assemblymember Amy Paulin said, "The benefits of breast milk are widely recognized and women who wish to pump should be encouraged to by having a location in their workplace which is private, clean, secure, and includes access to water and an outlet. It also goes without saying that employers should have written policies in place that support a woman's ability to breastfeed at work, and don't put women in the position of having to ask for the right to breastfeed or for appropriate accommodations. I want to thank Governor Hochul for taking this step to support working mothers in this way."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
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