Thursday, August 30, 2007
On August 22, 2007, New York Gov. Spitzer signed into law A-07042 which is entitled the Nursing Mothers in Workplace Act. This statute authorizes nursing mothers to express breast milk; provides that an employer shall provide a reasonable amount of paid or unpaid break time during each work day to permit an employee to express breast milk for her nursing infant for at least two years following the birth of such child.
Specifically, the statute provides:
NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, AN EMPLOYER SHALL
PROVIDE A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF PAID OR UNPAID BREAK TIME DURING EACH
WORK DAY TO PERMIT AN EMPLOYEE TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK FOR HER NURSING
INFANT FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS FOLLOWING CHILD BIRTH. NOTHING IN THIS
SECTION SHALL REQUIRE AN EMPLOYER TO PROVIDE SUCH EMPLOYEE WITH MORE
PAID BREAK TIME THAN SHE WOULD OTHERWISE RECEIVE, BUT SUCH EMPLOYEE
SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH ANY ADDITIONAL UNPAID BREAK TIME SHE MAY NEED FOR
SUCH PURPOSE. AN EMPLOYER IS NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE BREAK TIME UNDER
THIS SECTION IF TO DO SO WOULD SERIOUSLY DISRUPT THE OPERATIONS OF THE
EMPLOYER. THE EMPLOYER SHALL PROVIDE A PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION SUITABLE
FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPRESSING BREAST MILK, LOCATED IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO
THE WORK AREA, NOT INCLUDING A BATHROOM STALL OR STORAGE AREA. NO
EMPLOYER SHALL DISCRIMINATE IN ANY WAY AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE WHO CHOOSES
TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK IN THE WORKPLACE.
All I can say, it's about time.
Hat Tip Workplace Prof Blog
Mitchell H. Rubinstein