New York State 2024-2025 Budget Impact on Employers

On April 20, 2024, New York legislators approved the New York State 2024-2025 Budget. The Budget included three amendments to New York Labor Law affecting all New York employers.

1. Paid Prenatal Personal Leave

On January 21, 2025, employers will be required to provide pregnant employees with 20 hours of paid prenatal personal leave during any 52-week calendar period. With the passage of this law, New York has become the first state to provide employees with prenatal leave.

Pregnant Business Woman at LaptopPrenatal leave is separate from the leave provided in the New York Sick Leave Law and New York City Earned Safe & Sick Leave Law. Prenatal leave can be used by an employee for health care services “during their pregnancy or related to such pregnancy, including physical examinations, medical procedures, monitoring and testing, and discussions with a health care provider related to the pregnancy.”

Employees who use prenatal leave can take such leave in hourly increments and must be paid at their regular rate of pay or applicable minimum wage. An employer is not obligated to pay an employee for unused prenatal leave upon an employee’s termination or separation from employment.

In addition, an employer cannot require the disclosure of confidential information as a condition for providing prenatal leave or retaliate against any employee who uses it. Plus, an employee who uses prenatal leave must be restored to the employment position that was previously held prior to taking such leave.

2. Paid Nursing Breaks

The Budget also amended section 206-c of the New York Labor Law, which required that employers provide employees with reasonable unpaid break time to express breast milk.  Under the new law, effective June 19, 2024, employers must provide employees with 30 minutes of paid break time to express breast milk.

In addition, employers must permit employees to use existing paid break time or meal time when an employee requires more than 30 minutes to express breast milk. Notably, the new law does not specify how often an employee is entitled to paid break time to express breast milk.

3. Expiration of COVID-19 Sick Leave

Currently, employers are required to provide paid sick leave when an employee is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. The amount of paid sick leave is dependent on the employer’s size and annual income. However, on July 31, 2025, this law will expire, and employers will not be required to provide separate paid COVID-19 leave.