Date: March 25, 2019

Effective March 17, 2019, employers with four or more employees in New York City must provide employees with break time and a private place to express milk. Like with other protected classes, employers can refuse to make these accommodations if they impose an undue hardship.

Under New York City law, employers must notify employees about the new law in a detailed, written policy. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has posted three sample policies on its website. Companies needing help drafting a lactation policy should contact counsel.

New Jersey already has a law similar to that recently enacted in New York City. In 2018, New Jersey amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq., to include breastfeeding as a protected class. Under New Jersey law, employers, regardless of size, must provide reasonable break time, a private place to sit other than a toilet stall, with an electrical outlet for a breast pumping machine, a lockable door and a reasonably clean space.