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New Rights for NYC Pregnant Workers

Navigating your way through a pregnancy is difficult enough without having to struggle to keep your job at the same time. But now in New York City, help is on the way. As of January 30, 2014, NYC employers with more than 4 workers must provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant women, as well as women with post-childbirth and related medical conditions, so long as the accommodation enables the employee to perform the essential functions of her position.

Is there a catch? Yes, a small one. The law defines "reasonable workplace accommodation" as one that does not cause your employer "undue hardship". So you can probably depend on your boss arguing that he is going so far out his way to accommodate your condition that his business is hurting. The law does provide, however, that he has the burden to prove that he can't adjust, and that the accommodation will actually harm his business. He will have to show that his operations and financial resources are insufficient to absorb the impact of giving you a break during your pregnancy.

If your employer violates the law, he will be liable for damages, including punitive damages, and attorney's fees.

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