New York--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

New York--Laws Relating to Pregnancy

NEW YORK

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Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice to discriminate based on sex, which includes pregnancy.

*Applies to employers with four or more employees.

For the text of the statute, click here.[1]

It is unlawful for employer to compel an employee who is pregnant to take a leave of absence, unless the employee is prevented by such pregnancy from performing the activities involved in the job or occupation in a reasonable manner.

*Applies to employers with four or more employees.

For the text of the statute, click here.[2]

Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy Related Disability Accommodation

Current Law:

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of disability. The New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) has held pregnancy is a disability under this law and thus requires an employer provide reasonable accommodation.[3] However, case law casts doubt on this interpretation in state and federal court, especially  when an employee requests an accommodation arising from an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy.[4]

*Applies to employers with four or more employees.  For the text of the statute, click here.[5]

Pending Legislation:

A pending bill will make it illegal to refuse to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee for pregnancy and its related conditions. The law will also expand the employers prohibited from discriminating based on sex to all employers, rather than those employers with at least four employees.

NEW YORK CITY

Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy Related Disability Accommodation

Current Law:

In New York City, an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation to pregnant women and those who suffer medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. A few examples of reasonable accommodation could include bathroom breaks, leave for a period of disability arising from childbirth, restroom breaks, water intake, periodic rest for those who stand for long periods of time, and assistance with manual labor. The employer must know, or have reason to know, of the employee’s need for the accommodation.

*Applies to an employer with 4 or more employees.

To read the full text of the statute, click here.

Breastfeeding Rights

An employer must provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following child birth. The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy. No employer may discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the work place.

*Applies to all employers

For the text of the statute, click here.[8]

A mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be.

For the text of the statute, click here.[9]

Family and Childcare Leave Laws

New York’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program provides temporary cash benefits to eligible workers who are temporarily disabled, including women with pregnancy or childbirth-related disabilities. Workers are eligible for up to 26 weeks of TDI. The typical period of pregnancy-related disability is four to six weeks prior to a woman’s due date and four to six weeks after delivery.

For the text of the statute, click here.[10]

New York’s public sector pregnancy disability regulations apply to all state employees regardless of hours worked. The typical period of pregnancy disability is four weeks prior to a woman’s due date and six weeks after her delivery date. Disability leave is without pay and may require a doctor’s note. There is no job protection provided for those out on disability, but employers may not discriminate against employees who attempt to claim benefits.

For more information, click here.[11]

State employees may be eligible for paid sick time to care for family members and up to seven months of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

For more information, click here.[11]

For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.

For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.

For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.

Copyright 2013 Legal Momentum



[1] N.Y. Exec. Law § 296

[2] N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(g)

[3] See, e.g., Hardy v. Pathmark Stores, Inc., New York State Division of Human Rights, Case No. 10117709 (July 17, 2008), Stack v. State of New York & New York State Division of State Police, New York State Division of Human Rights, Case No. 1202468 (February 8, 2007). 

[4] See Krause v. Lancer & Loader Grp., LLC, 965 N.Y.S.2d 312, 322 (Sup. Ct. 2013) (holding that failure to demonstrate that a normal pregnancy caused an “impairment” negated its classification as a disability); see also Lehmuller v. Incorporated Village of Sag Harbor, 944 F.Supp. 1087, 1093 (E.D.N.Y. 1996) (a normal pregnancy is merely the natural consequence of reproduction)).

[5] N.Y. Exec. Law § 296.1

[6] Women’s Equality Act, Legislative Bill Drafting Commission 12032-02-03

[7] New York City Pregnant Women’s Fairness Act, Int 0974-2012

[8] 196 N.Y. Lab. Law § 206-c.

[9] N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e

[10] 194 N.Y. Workers’ Comp. Law §§ 201-205

[11] New York  State Department of Civil Service, “Leaves without Pay” (Part 22), Attendance and Leave Manual, Section 22.1

[12] Id.

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