New York Maternity and Pregnancy laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Maternity and Pregnancy: What you need to know

The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of sex. Discrimination based on sex has been interpreted to include discrimination because of pregnancy.
The law covers employers with four or more employees (NY Exec. Law Sec. 290 et seq.).
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Employers with four or more employees are required to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with pregnancy-related conditions. Pregnancy-related conditions are treated as temporary disabilities under the law (NY Exec. Law Sec. 292).
“Reasonable accommodation” means actions taken that permit an employee or prospective employee to perform his or her job including, but not limited to, providing an accessible worksite, acquiring or modifying equipment, job restructuring, and modified work schedules, provided that such actions do not impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business.
“Pregnancy-related condition” means a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that inhibits the exercise of a normal bodily function or that is demonstrable by a medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic technique. In order to be covered, the reasonable accommodation must not prevent the employee from performing his or her job.
The employee must cooperate in providing medical or other information necessary to verify a covered pregnancy-related condition or the accommodation necessary. All medical information must be kept confidential.
According to guidelines issued by the New York State Division of Human Rights, disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth are considered temporary disabilities.
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