What You Need to Know About NYC’s 2 New Workplace Lactation Laws

By Kelsey Basten

Published on March 21, 2019

What You Need to Know About NYC's 2 New Workplace Lactation Laws

The New York City Council passed two laws relating to lactation rooms for breastfeeding mothers. The two laws go into effect on March 18, 2019.

The first, Int. No. 879-A, requires employers with four or more employees to provide lactation room accommodations. This law is accompanied by the second, Int. No. 905-A, requires employers with four or more employees to implement a written lactation room accommodation policy to be distributed to all employees. Here are a few important details employers need to know about the laws:

Definition of a “Lactation Room”

The laws define a lactation room as a “a sanitary place, other than a restroom, that can be used to express breast milk shielded from view and free from intrusion.” The laws state the lactation rooms must include an electrical outlet, a char, a surface on which to place a breast pump and other personal items, and nearby access to running water.

Access to Lactation Room and Refrigerator

Next, the laws require the lactation room and a refrigerator suitable for storing breast milk be in “reasonable proximity” to the work area of the employee expressing the breastmilk.

Priority Access to Employees Who Express Breast Milk

The lactation room may be used for other purposes, if the priority is given to employees who requires the space to express breast milk. Employers who chose to use the space for other purposes must explicitly notify all employees that preference will be given to those who need it for lactation purposes.

Notice Requirement

The written lactation room accommodation policy notice must include statements that:

  • Inform employees they have a right to request a lactation room
  • Explain in detail the process by which an employee may request a lactation room
  • Note the employer will respond to the request within a reasonable amount of time (no more than five business days)
  • Employers will provide break time for an employee to express breast milk

Model Lactation Policies

The NYC Commission on Human Resources and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has created model lactation room accommodation policies that comply with new legislation. These are available on the NYC Commission on Human Rights website.

This Labor Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

Keep Informed
with GovDocs Labor Law News

Who is GovDocs?

GovDocs simplifies the complexity of employment law management (ELM) for large, multilocation employers across all industries. We offer a suite of innovative compliance products, including labor law postings, data software applications and other program management tools, to ease the day-to-day responsibilities of human resources, compensation, legal and finance teams.

Have less than 30 locations? 

The GovDocs Poster Store simplifies the complexity of posting compliance for employers with less than 30 locations across all industries. We offer a variety of posting products to meet your labor law compliance needs, including federal and state posters; county and city poster packages; and other HR posters. Plus, when you purchase posters with GovDocs Update Service, you ensure your locations automatically receive updated posters whenever changes occur.