Clarifies that employers must perform a reasonable accommodation analysis for employees with pregnancy-related conditions.
Ayes (63): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
BILL NUMBER:S5880 REVISED 6/26/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to reasonable accommodation
This bill would enact part of the New York Women's Agenda, which would break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender. New York State has a proud history and tradition of leading the nation in progressive ideals and reforms This is especially so with respect to women's rights in 1843, the women's suffrage movement was born at the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. From that moment in time and continuing through today, the state has been the home of female leaders and visionaries, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton who initiated the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements, to Audre Lorde, a leading African-American poet and essayist who gave voice to women's issues, and Gloria Steinem, the journalist, author and activist. These New Yorkers have served as role models for not only their generation but for every generation to come.
Over the years, New York has fallen behind in its role as a progressive leader on women's rights. Today, statistics clearly show that women in New York State are not treated equally to men. Study after study shows gender inequality in our communities where women face discrimination in the workplace based on pregnancy.
The New York Women's Agenda will break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender. New York has served as a model for equality and fairness on several issues including women's rights. The New York Women's Agenda will return the State to its rightful place as a leader on women's equality.
Summary of Bills:
9) Pregnancy Discrimination
This bill would amend Exec. L. § 296 to clarify that employers must perform a reasonable accommodation analysis for employees with pregnancy-related conditions. A pregnancy-related condition would be defined as a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. A reasonable accommodation would not have to be granted if it imposed an undue hardship on an employer. A pregnancy-related condition would be treated as a temporary disability for the purposes of current Division of Human Rights regulations regarding reasonable accommodations. Additionally, it would codify in law a requirement currently in regulation that an employee must cooperate in providing medical or other information to verify the existence of a disability or pregnancy-related condition.
This bill would impact existing protections that are available under the Executive Law.
Statement in Support:
* Stopping Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All
Conditions related to childbirth and pregnancy can result in impairment requiring accommodation. Some pregnant workers require modest adjustments on the job for conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth in order to stay healthy and keep working. Employees may require a stool to sit on, extra restroom breaks, transfer away from hazardous duties, a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting, or a reasonable time for childbirth recovery. In order to adequately protect the rights of pregnant workers, it is necessary to create a specific protection in the Human Rights Law requiring employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy-related conditions, unless doing so would create an undue hardship. While the Division of Human Rights has long interpreted the sex and disability protections of the Human Rights Law to encompass pregnancy-related conditions, recent Court decisions have contributed to the already considerable confusion as to the availability and extent of this protection. The purpose of this bill is to codify the Division's existing interpretation of-the law while not depriving women of any of their existing protections under the disability and sex discrimination provisions of the law.
This bill has no budget implications for the State.
This bill would take effect 90 days after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5880 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 18, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. HANNON, CARLUCCI, ROBACH -- (at request of the Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to reasonable accommo- dation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 21-e of section 292 of the executive law, as added by chapter 269 of the laws of 1997, is amended and a new subdivi- sion 21-f is added to read as follows: 21-e. The term "reasonable accommodation" means actions taken which permit an employee, prospective employee or member with a disability, OR A PREGNANCY-RELATED CONDITION, to perform in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held and include, but are not limited to, provision of an accessible worksite, acquisition or modification of equipment, support services for persons with impaired hearing or vision, job restructuring and modified work schedules; provided, however, that such actions do not impose an undue hardship on the business, program or enterprise of the entity from which action is requested. 21-F. THE TERM "PREGNANCY-RELATED CONDITION" MEANS A MEDICAL CONDITION RELATED TO PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH THAT INHIBITS THE EXERCISE OF A NORMAL BODILY FUNCTION OR IS DEMONSTRABLE BY MEDICALLY ACCEPTED CLINICAL OR LABORATORY DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN ALL PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE DEALING WITH EMPLOYMENT, THE TERM SHALL BE LIMITED TO CONDITIONS WHICH, UPON THE PROVISION OF REASONABLE ACCOMMO- DATIONS, DO NOT PREVENT THE COMPLAINANT FROM PERFORMING IN A REASONABLE MANNER THE ACTIVITIES INVOLVED IN THE JOB OR OCCUPATION SOUGHT OR HELD; AND PROVIDED FURTHER, HOWEVER, THAT PREGNANCY-RELATED CONDITIONS SHALL BE TREATED AS TEMPORARY DISABILITIES FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD12058-01-3 S. 5880 2
S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 3 of section 296 of the executive law, as added by chapter 269 of the laws of 1997, is amended and a new paragraph (c) is added to read as follows: (a) It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, licensing agency, employment agency or labor organization to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities, OR PREGNAN- CY-RELATED CONDITIONS, of an employee, prospective employee or member in connection with a job or occupation sought or held or participation in a training program. (C) THE EMPLOYEE MUST COOPERATE IN PROVIDING MEDICAL OR OTHER INFORMA- TION THAT IS NECESSARY TO VERIFY THE EXISTENCE OF THE DISABILITY OR PREGNANCY-RELATED CONDITION, OR THAT IS NECESSARY FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE ACCOMMODATION. THE EMPLOYEE HAS A RIGHT TO HAVE SUCH MEDICAL INFOR- MATION KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. S 3. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi- sion, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by a court of compe- tent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its opera- tion to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such invalid provisions had not been included herein. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.