Employer Takeaways from NYC’s New Pregnancy Law


Dean Silverberg, Jeffrey Landes, and Susan Gross Sholinsky, Members of the Firm, and Jennifer Goldman, an Associate, in the Labor and Employment practice in the New Yorkoffice,co-wrote an article titled "Employer Takeaways from NYC's New Pregnancy Law." (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

On Oct. 2, 2013, following a unanimous New York City Council vote, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill amending the New York City Human Rights Law to require most New York City employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant workers.

Effective Jan. 30, 2014 (120 days after signing), the new law, which amends the New York City Administrative Code, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.

While the NYCHRL already prohibits discrimination based on gender and disability, the new law is significant because it expands coverage to all pregnant employees, regardless of whether a pregnant employee's condition would qualify as a disability under federal, state or city law.


The NYCHRL applies to New York City employers (including employment agencies) with four or more employees (including independent contractors who are "natural persons"[1] and not themselves employers).

Prohibited Actions

The new law prohibits employers from refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee due to her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, provided that such employee's pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition is known (or should have been known) by the employer.