NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More and more women want to work through their pregnancies and a measure introduced before the New York City Council might well help them.
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The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require employers to provide what the bill calls “reasonable accommodations” to pregnant employees whose health care providers say they are necessary, unless they would be an undue hardship on the employer.
“I think, to many people, it seems a given that accommodations are made for pregnant workers. I do not think it should be a given in the city of New York. I think people who are expecting a child should have protections codified into law,” said sponsor James Vacca on Tuesday.
Vacca says accommodations could include additional bathroom breaks or allowing a pregnant worker to sit down more often.
“If you’re a young lady who’s expecting and you work in retail or you work in a supermarket, you normally are on your feet eight to ten hours a day, but sometimes you may request a stool. Because of your condition, your doctor may certify that you’re not able to stand,” Vacca said.
“Women bear the health risks, discomfort, and exhaustion of pregnancy to bring future generations into our society,” Councilman Brad Lander said. “Is it too much to ask that they get an extra trip to the bathroom? When a pregnant woman is denied accommodations at work, it is unsafe, unfair and discriminatory. Let’s put our mothers, children, and families first by ensuring that pregnant women get fair accommodations at work.”
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