Section 206-c of the New York State Labor Law requires that all public and private employers in New York State, regardless of the size or nature of the business provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit employees to use paid break time each day to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following child birth.
The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy. “Reasonable effort” requires that the room or other location must be provided for use of employees expressing breast milk so long as it is neither significantly impracticable, inconvenient, or expensive to the employer to do so.
No employer shall discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace. Discrimination can include the encouragement or allowance of a work environment that is hostile to the right of nursing mothers to take leave for this purpose.
Employers must notify employees in writing of their right to express breast milk in the workplace. Such notification must be made in a manner that will ensure all employees see it, such as displaying the New York Bilingual Right to Express Breast Milk poster in a prominent spot in an area where employees congregate.
Employees are required to give the employer advance notice, preferably prior to their return following child birth, to allow the employer time to establish a location and schedule time to express breast milk amongst multiple employees, if needed.