Position Statement – 2012
S.6273 / A.9114
Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy in New York
Current employment laws are inadequate to protect pregnant New Yorkers on the job. Under New York Law, employers are not required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women unless they have a pregnancy related disability. As a result, pregnant women in New York State are often forced to take unpaid leave or are fired for requesting a small accommodation. This lack of protection causes significant economic harm to thousands of pregnant women and their families every year, especially low-income and single mothers.
S6273/A9114 would close this significant loophole in state and federal law. Specifically, this legislation would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women who make requests with the advice of their health care providers, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the employer.
Reasonable accommodations for pregnant women are a public health necessity. Without the legal protections this legislation would provide, pregnant women are often reluctant to ask for and receive the accommodations they need both for their own health and the health of their unborn child. For many women, a choice between working under unhealthy conditions and potentially losing their income is no choice at all.
If passed, this bill would offer pregnant women an opportunity to continue working where they were formerly forced to take unpaid leave or were fired for requesting a small accommodation.