Employers in New York City are now required to provide bathroom breaks, disability leaves and other “reasonable accommodations” for moms-to-be who request them.
The accommodations, which provide protections against illegal firings, became mandatory under a human-rights law that took effect on Jan. 30. The law also applies to women who are recovering from childbirth.
Other mandated accommodations include periodic rest for pregnant employees who stand for long periods of time and help with manual labor.
The law applies to a pregnancy or related condition that “is known or should have been known” to an employer.
Companies can legally decline to provide the accommodations if they pose an “undue hardship” for their businesses.
“The enumerated factors in determining undue hardship include the nature and cost of the accommodation, the nature of the facility, and the finances of the business,” said employment attorney Howard M. Wexler, an associate at Seyfarth Shaw in Manhattan.
The new regulation covers employers with at least four employees. Companies must notify new and existing employees of their rights under the new law.
Workers can file complaints with the city Commission on Human Rights or in court.
For more on the law click here.