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Legislative lowdown: New York becomes first state to mandate paid prenatal leave

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New York is the first state to mandate that employers provide paid prenatal leave to their workforces.

The new policy—an amendment to New York’s already existing sick leave provisions in the state’s labor law—was passed as part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s FY 2025 executive budget bill. It requires all New York State employers to give workers 20 hours of paid prenatal leave annually; the leave may be used for services related to an employee’s pregnancy, such as physical exams or medical procedures.

Paid prenatal leave must be offered in addition to New York’s paid “sick and safe” leave, under which employers must

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