New York State (NYS) Laws
July 2022: Governor Hochul signed legislation (S.3866/A.7813) to support new parents traveling in New York by requiring certain airports to provide a space for breastfeeding people away from public view.
Spectrum News interview with NYSBC Board Member Stephanie Sosnowski:
NYS Paid Family Leave
In 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law the nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy. Today, working families no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and risking their economic security.
Paid Family Leave provides eligible employees job-protected, paid time off to:
Bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child,
Care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
Assist loved ones when a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent is deployed abroad on active military service.
Paid Family Leave also provides:
NYS Breastfeeding in Public
New York State was the first state in the nation to pass a law protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public. It is a civil rights law, NY CLS Civ R 79-e (Article 7 Miscellaneous Provisions).
1994 NY ALS 98; 1994 NY LAWS 98; 1994 NYSN 3999 79-e Right to Breast Feed. Not with standing any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.
NYS Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights
This NYS law provides women with greater access to breasfeeding information and support. The law supports new mothers by providing them information about beastfeeding before they give birth and after and free of commercial interest.
The Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights can be found at this link: www.nyhealth.gov/publications/2028
NYS Medicaid Reimbursement for Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHM)
The July 2017 Medicaid Update advised providers that in accordance with the 2017-2018 state budget, pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) is a covered Medicaid benefit for inpatient use. New York State (NYS) Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) and Medicaid Managed Care (MMC) will begin reimbursing for PDHM, outside of the inpatient bundled payment, effective December 1, 2017 for FFS and February 15, 2018 for the MMC plans.
PDHM is covered for infants who:
Coverage of PDHM is for infants who meet the criteria outlined above and one or more of the following conditions:
NYS Hospital Maternity Practices
New York State's Maternity Information Law requires each hospital to provide information about its childbirth practices and procedures. This information can help you to better understand what to expect, learn more about childbirth choices, and plan for baby's birth.
Maternity Information: Childbirth Services - The Maternity Information Leaflet is available in English, Spanish, and other languages.
NYS Public Buildings Law
PBB § 144. Lactation room in public buildings: A "covered public building ” means a public building owned by the state of New York, under the supervision and control of the commissioner of general services, that is determined by said commissioner to be open to the public. A covered public building shall contain a lactation room that is made available for use by a member of the public to breastfeed or express breast milk.
NYS Act, November 2020:
S.6707 and A.6986-A : Requires the department of health of the state of New York to conduct a review of the effects of racial and ethnic disparities on breastfeeding rates and prepare and submit a report to the governor and the legislature.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Expands Access to Preventive Services for Women
As of August 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted additonal Guidelines for Women's Preventive Services including support for breastfeeding equipment.
Breastfeeding Support, Supplies, and Counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from a trained provider, as well as breastfeeding equipment.
More can be found at https://www.hrsa.gov/womens-guidelines/index.html.
For other existing federal laws, see The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) website at www.usbreastfeeding.org for more details.
If you think your rights are vilolate or if you have been harassed while breastfeeding in a public establishment, contact the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). You are encouraged to contact the owner or manager of the business to notify them of your legal rights and to demand an apology and other measures to rectify the situation.
Should you need further assistance, or if you have experienced problems with breastfeeding in any other context, phone (212) 607-3300.
See: www.nyclu.org/issues/rrp for information on The Reproductive Rights Project.
For information regarding breastfeeding laws in other states, see:
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