ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New legislation was signed Friday that will expand accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace, according to the New York State Governor’s office.
The new law will require employers in New York to ensure the convenience and privacy of pumping spaces. These spaces must also include seating, as well as access to running water and electricity, and working space. Employers will also be required to develop and implement a written policy developed by the New York State Department of Labor regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace.
Currently, employers must give their employees reasonable break times and make reasonable efforts to provide a space for employees to pump breast milk, but according to the Governor’s office, this standard currently falls below the requirements in place for government employees.
New York State Senator Samra G. Brouk, the chair of committee on mental health was a co-sponsor in the senate. Brouk is a senator in the 55th senate district, which includes portions of Monroe and Ontario counties.
“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,” New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin said. “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.”