New York Requires Paid Lactation Time, Paid Prenatal Leave for Employees

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • New York Requires Paid Lactation Time, Paid Prenatal Leave for Employees



New York has enacted a sweeping set of employment laws that will require employers of all sizes to provide paid break time for lactation and paid leave for prenatal care. Additionally, the state’s COVID-19 sick leave provisions are set to expire soon. Here are the key details:


Paid Lactation Breaks
Effective June 19, 2024, all New York employers must provide nursing employees with:

  • 30 minutes of paid break time each time the employee needs to express breast milk, up to 3 years after childbirth
  • The ability to use existing paid breaks beyond the 30-minute lactation periods

This paid lactation time adds flexibility for nursing mothers to pump at work. Employers must update lactation policies, post revised lactation rights notices, and train managers accordingly.


Paid Prenatal Leave

Beginning January 1, 2025, pregnant employees in New York can take up to 20 hours of paid prenatal leave annually. This can be used in 1-hour increments for prenatal healthcare appointments, procedures, and testing related to their pregnancy.

Employers will need to create new paid prenatal leave policies allowing for this job-protected time off and ensure managerial awareness.


COVID-19 Sick Leave Expiration

New York’s COVID-19 sick leave law providing paid time off and job protections for quarantined workers will sunset on July 31, 2025. After that date, providing COVID-specific sick leave will become optional for employers.

Organizations should update handbooks and policies to eventually phase out dedicated COVID leave sections if they’ve maintained those provisions during the pandemic.


Action Items for Employers

To comply with these new requirements, employers should take the following actions:

  • Update lactation accommodation policies and postings before June 19, 2024
  • Implement new paid prenatal leave policies ahead of the January 1, 2025 effective date
  • Train managers on the new lactation and prenatal leave rules
  • Decide whether to maintain any COVID leave policies post-July 2025 expiration


The new lactation and prenatal leave laws aim to support working parents. Employers must carefully review and adjust their practices to provide these entitlements while winding down temporary COVID leave requirements that are soon ending.


Log in or Register to save this content for later.