New York, NY (PRWEB) March 12, 2014
Richard Sabatino, executive director for New York law firm Kaplan Lawyers PC, commented today on the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act, which became law on January 30, 2014.
Kaplan Lawyers PC is a New York law firm focusing on workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Kaplan’s executive director, Richard Sabatino, commented today on how passage of an amendment to the City’s Human Rights Law will make a difference for pregnant women in the workplace in New York City.
“It’s going to offer a good deal more protection to women who are pregnant and want to keep working but also want to safeguard their health and that of their unborn babies,” Sabatino said. “Discrimination against pregnant employees unfortunately still exists, but that may change now that employers have been given a better understanding of what accommodations they must provide to their pregnant employees. Adoption of this amendment was long overdue.”
The Pregnant Worker's Fairness Act (PWFA) became law in New York City on January 30, 2014. It is an amendment to NYC’s Human Rights Law and is designed to give pregnant employees or those who have recently given birth more rights than the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (a 35-year-old amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) currently gives.
The law applies to employers with at least four employees anywhere in the City—including Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn/Kings County, and Manhattan—and includes both full-time and part-time employees as well as contract workers.
The law requires employers to accommodate pregnant employees by providing, among other things, bathroom breaks, breaks to allow for increased intake of water, breaks to allow rest periods in jobs that require long periods of standing, assistance with manual labor, and leave for a period of disability that is a result of childbirth. Employers are required to post or give written notice of the new law and its rights to all employees by May 30, 2014.
“Pregnant employees were put on unpaid leave in the past because employers didn’t think they could perform their job duties, and some employees lost their jobs when they took time off to have their baby. It wasn’t fair treatment. Those employers probably didn’t stop to think that temporary accommodations for pregnant workers usually cost less over the long run than getting a new worker trained and productive,” Sabatino said.
“If a pregnant employee asks for accommodations and the employer insists they can’t be provided, and if that employee sees provisions being made for other employees in similar circumstances, it might be time to talk to a lawyer about pregnant worker rights,” said Sabatino.
About Kaplan Lawyers PC
Kaplan Lawyers PC is based out of Glen Cove, NY, on Long Island. The Kaplan firm operates under the promise that “our family will fight for your family,” and assists workers who have been treated unfairly in the workplace.