At the start of the new year (2014), the Pregnancy Accommodation Law acted as a new amendment to the already-expansive New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The law took effect on January 30, 2014, for newly-hired employees and is about to take effect for existing and current employees on May 30th.
The law requires New York City employers to provide reasonable accommodations due to an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition, which includes, among other things: bathroom breaks, leaves of absence for childbirth-related disabilities, breaks to facilitate increased water intake, periodic rest for those who stand for long periods, and assistance with manual labor.
The new protections cover all employees who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or have a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Any reasonable accommodation that assists the employee with an “essential” job function must be granted.
Employers, with four or more employees, are reminded that they must distribute, to all existing employees by May 30, 2014 written notice of the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition and other such rights under the new law. In order to facilitate distribution of the notice, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the agency tasked with enforcing the NYCHRL, has created a poster and information card summarizing such rights.
Although employers may, but are not required, to display the poster and information card in a visible location in the workplace, this alone will not satisfy the law’s notice provision.
Because employment law is complex and filled with constantly evolving provisions and laws, it is imperative that you contact an experienced employment attorney to ensure your legal rights are being protected. If you or a loved one believe you have been victim to your employer’s illegal practices, contact a lawyer today. A skilled attorney can afford you the representation you deserve.