Seyfarth Synopsis: In December 2022, New York's Governor signed several pieces of legislation impacting New York employers, most notably laws regulating lactation accommodation in the workplace and the electronic posting and issuance of mandatory workplace posters.

Below is a brief overview of these two new laws which employers must immediately review and consider plans for implementation.

Electronic Workplace Postings

Responding to the prevalence of remote work stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Hochul signed New York's new electronic postings law on December 16, 2022 requiring that employers electronically make available to employees copies of documents that the law already requires employers physically post in the workplace. The law specifies that digital versions of these posters can be made available through the employer's website or issued via email. Employers also must provide notice to their employees that documents required for physical posting are also available electronically.

This law went into effect immediately upon signing on December 16, 2022.

Lactation Accommodation

Signed by Governor Hochul on December 9, 2022, and scheduled to take effect on June 7, 2023, New York's lactation accommodation law amends New York's Labor Law, section 206-c to require employers to designate a room or location to allow employees to pump breast milk. This New York State law mirrors the New York City version in many ways.

Specifically, the law requires that the designated pumping location be: (1) in close proximity to the work area; (2) well lit; (3) shielded from view; and (4) free from intrusion from other persons in the workplace or public. Moreover, the designated location must also include, at a minimum: (i) a chair, (ii) a small table, (iii) nearby access to running water, and (iv) an electrical outlet, if the workplace is supplied with electricity. An employer can qualify for an exemption if the employer can demonstrate undue hardship based on the size, financial resources, and nature of its business.

Under the new law, the Department of Labor must develop a model written policy regarding the rights of nursing mothers to express breast milk at work pursuant to the new law before the June 7, 2023 effective date. Employers will then be required to adopt the DOL policy and distribute the policy to (1) all employees upon hire, (2) employees returning to work following the birth of a child, and (3) annually to all current employees.

Finally, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under this law.

Seyfarth will continue to monitor developments in these spaces and provide updates when available.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.