On April 19, 2024, New York Governor Kathy Hochul passed an amendment to New York Labor Law § 196-b, covering paid sick and safe leave, to include “paid prenatal personal leave” for pregnant employees. Effective January 1, 2025, all employers with NY employees must provide pregnant employees in New York with 20 hours of paid leave in a 52-week period for health care services related to their pregnancy. This leave is provided in addition to any paid sick or safe leave provided to the employee under New York law.

What is pregnancy related medical care?

The amendment lists “physical examinations, medical procedures, monitoring and testing, and discussions with a health care provider related to the pregnancy” as examples of pregnancy related health care.

How are employees who take prenatal leave compensated?

Employees who take prenatal leave must be compensated at the employee’s regular rate of pay, or minimum wage, whichever is greater.

When must employees be allowed to use prenatal leave?

Prenatal leave must be made available to employees at the time of hire.

In what increments can leave be taken?

The amendment specifies that employers must allow employees to take leave in increments of no less than one hour.

Does prenatal leave accrue or carryover?

Unlike paid sick and save leave, employees do not accrue prenatal leave or carry it over from year to year. Employers are not required to pay out any unused leave upon separation.

Next Steps

Employers with New York employees should review and revise their leave policies to provide the required leave in preparation for the January 1, 2025, deadline.

Additional Resources

Connect with a Sequoia consultant to learn how Sequoia’s compliance services are integrated in our benefits services and tailored solutions. And if you’re already a Sequoia client, stay on top of your employer obligations with your Compliance Checklist that highlights important compliance dates, action items, and resources. 

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Hailey Trippany — Hailey is a Compliance Specialist for Sequoia, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Hailey enjoys podcasts, baking, travel, and kayaking.