New York wises up to mothers

Aug 27 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

Kudos to the great state of New York for having the foresight to recognize that mothers with small children need to be able nurse (i.e breastfeed) during the day; it's always good to see that nursing is a right, not a privilege.

New York's governor, Eliot Spitzer, recently passed a new law that made some sweeping changes to the workplace that will have a huge impact on new mothers across the state.

According to the law, employers will have some new obligations, including unpaid breaks for nursing mothers to handle their business for up to three years following childbirth.

As a bonus, employers must make a reasonable effort to provide private space for the mother to nurse or produce milk. Finally, and most importantly, discriminating against nursing employees is a no-no.

It's great to see a large state like New York take the lead in such initiatives; as the article points out; a number of other states in the US are considering similar legislation.

In the past, this issue has come up on several occasions and met with opposition. But it's really hard to understand opponent's point of view on this one. While some may argue that it's akin to a cigarette break or extra time off, do keep in mind that mothers taking advantage of their legal workplace prerogatives aren't doing so on the company dime.

In a workplace with ever decreasing options and where "family" is often talked about but rarely respected, it's good to see such measures put into place.