State laws

NYC council passes bill aimed at protecting pregnant workers

New York – New legislation aimed at protecting pregnant women from certain job hazards and discrimination was passed by the New York City Council in a unanimous vote on Sept. 24 and now goes to Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his signature.

The bill spells out a woman’s legal entitlement to job adjustments to help ensure good health while pregnant, following childbirth or when other related medical conditions are present.

Specifically, the bill makes it illegal for employers in New York City to refuse to provide pregnant workers “reasonable accommodation,” which may include more breaks to stay hydrated, periodic rest for women whose job requires long periods of standing, extra bathroom breaks and assistance with manual labor.

The bill was created after councilmembers heard reports of women being removed from their positions or fired after requesting workplace adjustments because of a pregnancy or recent childbirth.