The Women’s Equality Act also contains significant new protections for pregnant workers in New York State. Prior New York state law, like federal law, barred discrimination against pregnant workers, but it did not mandate that pregnant workers be accommodated in the workplace, the way people with disabilities are accommodated. Many pregnant women do not meet the legal definition of disabled but they need workplace accommodations as a result of their pregnancies. Such reasonable accommodations might include: permission to sit down for some or all of the work day, more frequent restroom breaks, or being allowed to make up occasional time lost due to morning sickness. Disabled employees and employees needing religious accommodations have long been entitled to reasonable accommodations, and the Women’s Equality Act extends those protections to pregnant workers in New York State.
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