New York employers will soon be required to provide two new paid benefits to their employees. Pursuant to the recently passed New York state budget, New York employers will be required to provide: (i) additional paid leave to employees for healthcare appointments related to prenatal care; and (ii) paid break time to employees to express milk.

First, effective January 1, 2025, all private employers will be required to provide pregnant employees with 20 hours of paid prenatal leave per calendar year. The leave can be used in hourly increments for "physical examinations, medical procedures, monitoring and testing, and discussions with a health care provider related to the pregnancy." Significantly, the 20 hours of paid prenatal leave is in addition to any paid sick and safe leave to which an employee is entitled. This law amends Labor Law § 196-b, and we will provide further updates in the event New York state provides regulatory or other guidance.

Second, effective July 19, 2024, employees will also be entitled to paid break time to express milk, bolstering the state's existing requirement to provide unpaid lactation breaks. The law will require all employers to provide 30 minutes of paid break time and allow employees to use other paid break or meal time for time in excess of 30 minutes.


  • Employers should carefully review and revise their current leave and break policies and practices to ensure compliance with these new laws by their respective effective dates.
  • Employers should train managers on the new law so that they may be able to handle requests by employees for lactation breaks or prenatal leave.