New York State lawmakers came to a final agreement on a 2024-25 budget bill, which contains several notable changes to New York’s employment laws. There are three notable amendments in the budget that directly impact New York employers:

Sunsetting of COVID-19 Sick Leave: As we previously noted, New York is the last state in the country still requiring all employers to extend COVID-specific paid sick leave for employees. The budget initially included a measure that would repeal that law on July 1, 2024, but the final budget pushes the sunset date back one year. New York’s COVID-19 Sick Leave law will now expire on July 31, 2025.

Paid Prenatal Leave: Starting January 1, 2025, employers are required to provide 20 hours of paid prenatal leave each year. This leave can be taken in hourly increments during pregnancy for related medical appointments, procedures, tests, and discussions with healthcare providers. This leave is separate from the existing 40 or 56 hours of paid sick leave (depending on employer size) mandated by New York law. Employees must receive their regular rate of pay when using this leave.

Paid Breaks for Breast Milk Expression: Starting June 19, 2024 employers must provide nursing mothers 30-minute paid breaks to express breast milk during the workday. Many employers will remember that New York recently addressed workplace breast milk expression in an amendment that took effect in June 2023. This new amendment will mean the breaks must be paid and employees must also be permitted to use existing paid or meal breaks for any period exceeding 30 minutes.

Employers should review their policies and make necessary updates to ensure compliance, as well as educate managers and human resources personnel. If you have questions or concerns about these changes or other related labor and employment issues, please reach out to Harris Beach’s Labor and Employment attorneys. Please contact attorney Roy R. Galewski at (585) 419-8661 and rgalewski@harrisbeach.com; attorney Daniel J. Moore at (585) 419-8626 and dmoore@harrisbeach.com; attorney Daniel J. Palermo at (585) 419-8946 and dpalermo@harrisbeach.com; or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you most frequently work.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.