The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) has released their model policies for the New York City lactation room law, which went into effect on March 18, 2019. Local Law 185 and Local Law 186 , which passed in 2018 require:
- Employers to provide employees with lactation accommodations,
- Including a lactation room where employees can pump breast milk,
- A reasonable time in which to pump breast milk.
- Employers to have a written lactation policy that meet specific requirements under the law and employers must provide the policy to all new employees.
The NYCCHR has a dedicated lactation accommodation page. The page contains three model policies for:
- Workplaces with dedicated lactation room(s)
- Workplaces with a multi-purpose space, with is other than a restroom, that may be used as a lactation room
- Workplaces with no available space for a lactation room.
Employers may use the model policy that is most applicable to their work place. The model policies are very detailed, including a notice/discussion obligation, seeking to discuss an employee’s potential need prior to the employee returning from a parental leave. Although employers are not required to use the model policies, the language contained within can be a useful guide for policy development.
Additionally, the NYCCHR had also provided a Model Lactation Accommodation Request Form.
Employer takeaways: employers in New York City should review the updated information on the NYC Commission on Human Rights page including the model policies, the Model Lactation Accommodation Request Form, and other guidance materials (e.g. Lactation Accommodations: What NYC Employers Need to Know and Frequently Asked Questions). In addition, employers will want to engage employees prior to their returning from a parental leave about their potential needs.