With a note from her doctor, a nursing mother will be able to delay jury duty for up to two years

By Julie Mazziotta
October 21, 2019 04:44 PM
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That dreaded jury duty notice is now a little less stressful for new moms in New York state — breastfeeding mothers can now postpone their civic duty for up to two years.

The bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Monday morning, allows nursing moms to delay jury duty with a note from their physician, as long as they have not already postponed or delayed their service.

“While jury service is a critically important civic duty, we also know new moms oftentimes juggle countless responsibilities and navigate enormous adjustments in the early stages of their child’s life,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This commonsense measure takes that reality into account by providing new moms the flexibility and option to postpone jury service while they care for a newborn.”

With this new law, New York joins 17 other states and Puerto Rico in giving breastfeeding moms the ability to delay jury duty. California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia all have similar laws in place.

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Nursing moms are often in a bind when they are required to serve jury duty or head to court for even a traffic violation. That was the case for a North Carolina mom who said in May that a judge threatened to take away her 3-month-old daughter after she breastfed in the back of the courtroom while waiting for her case to be called.

Breastfeeding in public — including in courthouses — is legal in all 50 states.