The New York City Council has passed bills which will amend the New York City Human Rights Law. The bills concern lactation in the workplace for nursing mothers. Today’s New York employment law blog discusses these changes.
Federal, state, and local laws regulate discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s sex and pregnancy. The New York State Labor Law specifically addresses lactation in the workplace. But, the New York City Council has expanded on those protections via bills 879-A and 905-A, part of what is known as the Mother’s Day Legislative Package.
According to the bill’s summary, the law covers New York City employers with 15 or more employees. It requires those covered employers to provide lactation rooms and refrigerators for employees to express and store milk. The rooms must be in a “reasonable proximity” to the employee’s work areas. Lactation rooms must be sanitary and cannot be a restroom. Further, the rooms must provide privacy, provide an electrical outlet, and have a chair and surface area to place items including a breast pump. The room must also have access nearby to running water.