Working mothers encounter a lot of stress. Being a mom and holding a job is a big responsibility. Not only do you have to focus on working and doing your job well, but you have to make time for your family and taking care of your children, too.

If you are pregnant or recently had a child, nursing in the work place might be at the top of your mind. Nursing rights for working mothers is an important topic and you should know what you are entitled to as an employee.

Here is a brief guide to your rights as a nursing mother in the work place in the state of New York:

Pumping Breast Milk

According to the law, you are allowed break time to pump breast milk at work. You are entitled to unpaid breaks throughout the day, as long as you notify your employer in advance. You are allowed to take these breaks for up to three years after the birth of your child.

In some cases, your employer will be required to provide you with a room to pump breast milk. These rooms must be private and contain a small chair and table. Your employer is also encouraged to provide an outlet, clean water, access to a refrigerator and a door with a lock.

Break time

Breaks for pumping breast milk are required. You are allowed at least 20 minutes each break. These breaks can be shorter or longer according to your needs. You can take these breaks once every three hours. Your employer is not allowed to shorten other breaks, to compensate for these breaks.

These breaks are not required to be paid. However, your employer does have to let you make up the work before or after your normal hours, for these breaks.

Employer complaints

If your employer does not follow these laws, you can file a complaint. New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Labor Standards takes confidential complaints from nursing mothers.

Your employer is prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against you for these complaints. Your employer cannot discriminate against you for pumping breast milk, either. If this is violated, you can file a complaint with the Department of Labor.

These laws apply to all public and private employers in the state of New York. Your rights as a nursing mother are protected under the Fair labor Standards Act as well as New York State Labor Law.