NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New guidelines by the Human Rights Commission say pregnant women cannot be kept out of bars, or refused alcoholic beverages in restaurants, just because they are expecting.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the issue might sound unusual. But complaints from pregnant women about bar policies are not unheard of.
Dana Sussman, special counsel to the commissioner of the city’s Human Rights Commission, said her agency is investigating a few cases.
“We can’t give more than that, but that actually comes from some real-life examples,” she said.
The guidelines mainly expound on a 2013 city law that mostly concerns protections for pregnant workers. But Sussman said it goes beyond that, addressing stereotypes about what pregnant women should and should not be doing.
“You can see a slippery slope here,” she said. “We’re talking about women being able to make decisions for themselves.”
The U.S. Surgeon General and major medical associations say pregnant women should avoid alcohol. New York City itself requires restaurants to post warnings that alcohol can cause birth defects.
Nevertheless, city officials say such health decisions are up to the woman, not a bartender.
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the commission for declaring what he called one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country.
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