New York Passes Nursing Mothers Legislation

September 13, 2007 ( - New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has signed into law legislation that protects working mothers' ability to continue providing breast milk to their infants after the mothers return to the workplace.

A Spitzer press release said the legislation requires employers to provide uncompensated time and make a reasonable effort to provide private space for women to express milk or nurse their children for a period of up to three years following the birth of a child. In addition, the law bars an employer from discriminating against an employee exercising this right.

“A woman should not be forced to sacrifice her ability to provide for her children economically or nutritionally,” said Spitzer, in the press release. “Employers know the merit of retaining valuable employees and this modest accommodation allows mothers who chose to breast feed to continue their invaluable contribution to the economy without fearing for their job.”

Assemblywoman Roann Destito, co-sponsor of the legislation, said: “A young mother was fired in my district for expressing breast milk for her child. That will not happen again because today we recognize that all women may choose to work and that their children will have the best nutritional care available at the early stages of life.”

The legislation was unanimously passed in the state Senate and Assembly.