NYC Issues New Guidance on Pregnancy Protections in the Workplace

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Although employers in New York City have been required to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers since 2014, many pregnant employees are still routinely denied basic accommodations – such as minor changes to work schedules and bathroom breaks –– and are unfairly passed up for promotions due to their pregnancy, putting their careers and health in jeopardy.

The new guidance clearly defines such violations and makes clear how employers should accommodate pregnant employees, providing examples and policies to help employers comply with law. It defines specific violations of pregnancy protections under the Law in employment, housing, and public spaces, requires employers to accommodate reasonable requests, defines what an employer must prove in order to deny an accommodation, clarifies that employees undergoing fertility treatment, who have had abortions or miscarriages, or who are breastfeeding are entitled to reasonable accommodations, requires employers to initiate and engage in a “cooperative dialogue”, and clarifies that an employer may not retaliate against employees for requesting reasonable accommodations.

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