NEW YORK — New York’s law barring the termination of a mother’s maternity leave could apply to all parents regardless of their employment status, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told reporters that a state court judge had rejected the parents’ claim that the state law would be unconstitutional because it does not apply to state employees.
The ruling is a major setback for a New York mother who sought a temporary stay to keep her husband and two sons in New York for the birth of their first child.
New York has some of the strictest parental leave laws in the country, and it was not clear whether Schneiderman’s office would challenge the state laws in court.
New Yorkers who are covered by the New York Civil Liberties Union say the law is an unconstitutional burden on freedom of association.
Schneiderman said that he would review his position on the case, but he did not rule out the possibility that the judge could order the law repealed.
The state has seen an influx of workers who have returned to their jobs after taking time off because of maternity leaves.
About 5,500 people are now on the unemployment rolls and more than 8,000 are on state jobless benefits, Schneiderman said.
The number of people on state disability and disability benefits has grown by nearly 30% since the start of the year, Schneidermen said.
The case comes as the labor force participation rate has slipped to its lowest level in nearly six years, the lowest level since 2007.
About 6.5 million people are unemployed or underemployed, the government said in a statement on Monday.