As we previously reported, pursuant to a recent amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law, covered employers must now develop and implement a written policy regarding the provision of a lactation room, to be distributed to all new employees upon hire.  Among other requirements, the policy must include a statement that employees have the right to request a lactation room, as well as identify a process by which employees can make such a request.

To that end, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) has launched a new website on Lactation Accommodations that includes, among other things, model policies and a model request form that may be used by employers to satisfy their requirements under the new law. The website also includes FAQs on the new requirements, as well as a “What NYC Employers Need to Know” document, which provide information about the rights and basic needs of employees who need to pump and/or express breast milk.

The following policies are available for download:

  • A policy for workplaces with dedicated lactation room(s);
  • A policy for workplaces with a multi-purpose room, other than a restroom, that may be used as a lactation room; and
  • A policy for workplaces with no available space for a lactation room.

The model policies include a notice and discussion obligation that is not expressly set forth in the law. It would obligate employers to resend the policy to employees before their return from parental leave to request information regarding their need for a reasonable accommodation to express breast milk at work. The policies also make clear that while employers have up to five business days to respond to a request for a lactation accommodation, they should respond “as quickly as possible.”

Employers are not required to adopt the City’s model policies and request form. The documents, however, are indicative of what the agency will find acceptable and compliant in the event of a complaint or investigation. As always, Proskauer attorneys are available to answer questions regarding these new developments.

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Photo of Allan Bloom Allan Bloom

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended…

Allan Bloom is the co-chair of Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Law Department and a nationally recognized litigator and advisor who represents employers, business owners, and management in a broad range of employment and labor law matters. As a litigator, Allan has successfully defended many of the world’s leading companies against claims for unpaid wages, employment discrimination, breach of contract and wrongful discharge, both at the trial and appellate court levels as well as in arbitration, before government agencies, and in private negotiations. He has secured complete defense verdicts for clients in front of juries, as well as injunctions to protect clients’ confidential information and assets.

As the leader of Proskauer’s Wage and Hour Practice Group, Allan has been a strategic partner to a number of Fortune 500 companies to help them avoid, minimize and manage exposure to wage and hour-related risk. Allan’s views on wage and hour issues have been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg and Fortune, among other leading publications. His class-action defense work for clients has saved billions of dollars in potential damages.

Allan is regularly called on to advise operating companies, management companies, fund sponsors, boards of directors and senior leadership on highly sensitive matters including executive and key person transitions, internal investigations and strategic workforce planning. He has particular expertise in the financial services industry, where he has litigated, arbitrated, and mediated disputes for more than 20 years.

A prolific author and speaker, Allan was the Editor of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Journal from 2012 to 2017. He has served as an author, editor and contributor to a number of leading treatises in the field of employment law, including ADR in Employment Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Employment Discrimination Law (ABA/Bloomberg BNA), Cutting Edge Advances in Resolving Workplace Disputes (Cornell University/CPR), The Employment Law Review (Law Business Research, U.S. Chapter Author), and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual (SCCE).

Allan has served as longtime pro bono counsel to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Public Theater, among other nonprofit organizations.  He is a past Vice Chair of Repair the World, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, and a past recipient of the Lawyers Alliance Cornerstone Award for extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services.

Allan is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers since 2011.

Photo of Arielle E. Kobetz Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations…

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations and discipline, leave and accommodation requests, and general employee relations matters. She also counsels clients on developing, implementing and enforcing personnel policies and procedures and reviewing and revising employee handbooks under federal, state and local law.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.