Laws accomodating pregnancy in the workplace

An employer must provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following child birth.

The employer must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy.

No employer may discriminate in any way against an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the work place.

New York’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program provides temporary cash benefits to eligible workers who are temporarily disabled, including women with pregnancy or childbirth-related disabilities. The typical period of pregnancy-related disability is four to six weeks prior to a woman’s due date and four to six weeks after delivery.

New York’s public sector pregnancy disability regulations apply to all state employees regardless of hours worked.

“There is an ability to provide accommodations, but employers don’t want to.” The legislation is important because other protections out there — namely the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), part of the Civil Rights Act — are limited in their application.

"Undue hardship" means significant difficulty, including accommodations that are overly extensive or disruptive, or which could impact the actual running of a business.

Earlier this week, a coalition of legislators introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, designed to encourage employers to make nice to their pregnant employees.

Disability leave is without pay and may require a doctor’s note.

There is no job protection provided for those out on disability, but employers may not discriminate against employees who attempt to claim benefits.

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