FAQs About Lactation Break Law

What NY Employers Should Know

New York City passed a law for lactation breaks that requires NYC employers to provide a private lactation room and a refrigerator where nursing mothers can store milk. The new law goes into effect on March 18, 2019.

Prior to this New York City law, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 introduced a provision that required employers to allow nursing mothers to take a break for breast pumping.

What businesses does the lactation break law apply to?

According to the New York State Department of Labor, all public and private business in New York must provide break time so nursing mothers can pump breast milk at work. This law applies to all businesses regardless of the size or nature of the business.

How long must employers provide a mother with lactation breaks?

After the birth of the child, the mother can take breaks to pump breast milk for up to three years.

How long is the lactation break?

Employers must provide at least 20 minutes for each break. However, employees may take less time if they choose or may ask for more time if necessary.

How often must the breaks occur?

Employers must allow employees to take the break at least once every three hours. Employees can take these breaks immediately before or after meal breaks if they wish. For example, the employee could leave for the lactation break 20 minutes before or after the usual lunch break time.

Must employers pay for lactation breaks?

No. Employers do not have to pay nursing mothers for the break time. In addition, employees have the option of using their regular paid break times or meal breaks as their lactation break. However, the employer may not require them to do so.

There are numerous laws that business owners must adhere to and sometimes all the legal requirements can be confusing. At Stephen Hans & Associates, we can answer your questions and address your concerns. If you need seasoned legal guidance, we are glad to provide it. We have decades of employment law defense experience.


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