New York’s New Paid Prenatal Leave Mandate: What New York Employers Need to Know

Beginning January 1, 2025, pregnant employees in New York will be entitled to job-protected, paid prenatal leave.  This new legislation amends New York State’s existing Paid Sick Leave law and makes New York the first state in the country to provide such a benefit to pregnant individuals.

New York already boasts one of the most comprehensive and protective Paid Family Leave policies in the country.  Existing protections include job-protected paid time off to bond with newborn, newly adopted, or fostered children.  It also provides paid time off to care for family members with serious health conditions or to assist family members whose partner, child, or parent is deployed abroad on active-duty military service.

New York’s new prenatal paid time off mandate adds to those existing protections with the continued goal of ensuring working families will not have to choose between caring for their families and their jobs.  Under the new law, without reducing existing paid leave benefits, employers must provide 20 hours of paid prenatal personal leave per 52-week period for attending prenatal medical appointments.

New York’s paid prenatal leave mandate stands apart from federal legislation in requiring paid leave.  Protections under the federal Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act require reasonable accommodations be made for pregnant workers, including time off for prenatal and postnatal appointments.  However, under federal law, employers are not required to offer paid leave for that time.

Comprehensive information about the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act can be found on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website along with resources for employers and employees.  In addition, more information on New York State’s sick leave requirements can be found, here.

If you have questions about how compliance with the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act or with New York’s new prenatal leave legislation affects your business, contact us.

(This blog, prepared by Campanella Law Office, is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to convey specific legal advice, nor is it intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship.)

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