In 2013 NYC passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights law broadening protections for pregnant workers. The amendment requires employers to provide pregnant employees with reasonable accommodations at work.
Before passage of the amendment, pregnant employees were often not entitled to any accommodations because they did not meet the definition of "disabled" under disability discrimination laws.
As explained in the preamble to the amendment:
"The Council finds that pregnant women are vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace in New York City. For example, there are reports that women who request an accommodation that will allow them to maintain a healthy pregnancy, or who need a reasonable accommodation while recovering from childbirth, are being removed from their positions, placed on unpaid leave, or fired. It is the intent of the Council to combat this form of discrimination by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women and those who suffer medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Such a reasonable accommodation may include bathroom breaks, leave for a period of disability arising from childbirth, breaks to facilitate increased water intake, periodic rest for those who stand for long periods of time, and assistance with manual labor, among other things . . . ." (link)
The new law, which applies to employers with four or more employees, became effective January 30, 2014. In addition, as of that date, NYC employers (with four or more employees) were required to provide a notice of these new protections to all new hires.
The deadline to provide the notice to current employees expires tomorrow.
Employees - if you have not received this notice your employer may be in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law.
Employers - if you have not sent this notice out yet - you might want to get started on that . . . right now.