What You Need To Know About The NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a recent piece of workplace discrimination legislation that now explicitly requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to workers who are pregnant, recovering from childbirth, nursing or have a pregnancy-relation condition.


 What does this mean?

New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act means employees no longer have to choose between work and a healthy pregnancy. Your employer must provide you a reasonable accommodation, upon your request, to keep you healthy and safe.


Who is covered:

- Pregnant women
- Women recovering from childbirth
- Nursing moms
- Have medical condition as a result of your pregnancy
- Work for an employer that has 4 or more employees.
- Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to maintain a healthy pregnancy.


Reasonable accommodations include:

- Extra bathroom breaks
- Periodic rest for those who stand for long periods of time
- Light duty
- Help with lifting
- A temporary transfer to a less physically demanding position    
- Water breaks
- Occasional breaks to rest    
- Time off for recovery from childbirth    
- Unpaid medical leave
- Changes to your work environment (like avoiding exposure to toxins)  
- Assistance with manual labor, among other things.


Employers can still deny your request, but there are few hoops for them to jump through:

Employers have the right to deny requests if it results in an "undue hardship." It's the employer's responsibility to prove this in a court of law, should it ever come to that.  If you can no longer continue working, even with reasonable accommodations, then you might have to take a leave of absence.  


Further Resources:

For help and advice, call A Better Balance (ABB)'s Families @ Work Legal Clinic Hotline at 212.430.5982. ABB is a not-for-profit legal center that works with New Yorkers who are facing unfair treatment at work because they are pregnant or have family care responsibilities. All of their services are completely free.  Be sure to review "Know Your Rights!" from ABB for more information.
Thanks to the team Brad Lander's office & A Better Balance for helping provide guidance & advice for this article


Further Reading on PSP:

Working mother articles

Know your rights!

Tips for breastfeeding at work