Local Pols Advocate for Pregnant Workers


A group of City Council members on Tuesday pushed for a new law that would automatically provide pregnant women at non-union jobs with the right to accommodations such as a stool to sit on at retail jobs and other amenities that take their physical condition into account.

Under present law a woman who is denied an accommodation due to her pregnancy, like a water bottle to make sure she stays hydrated, must file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, a drawn-out process that might take longer than the pregnancy.

“This legislation is an essential protection for pregnant workers all across New York City,” said Council Member James Vacca at a news conference on the  steps of City Hall

The Pregnant Worker Fairness Act would make pregnancy and related conditions protected by the city human rights law.

“Pregnancy is only 40 weeks long and every day counts,” said Vacca. “Providing women with a proactive way to seek medically necessary accommodations is simply the right thing to do.”

Under the act a women would still be able to file a pregnancy-related discrimination claim with the city’s Human Rights Commission if the accommodation is denied.

“There’s really no cost to the employer to provide these accommodations,” said Council  Member Debi Rose. “It makes it, like everybody has said, a no-brainer.”



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