By a 47-0 vote, the NYC Council passed a bill which allows women who request a reasonable accommodation for their pregnancy or while after childbirth to sue for discrimination or file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights if they suffer an adverse employment action.

As with accommodation provisions in federal laws such as Title VII, an accommodation must be “reasonable” and impose no “undue hardship” on employers.  The law would apply to all businesses with four or more employees, including independent contractors.

Christine Quinn, City Council President (who recently ran for and lost the Democratic primary for Mayor) said that “This bill will ease the burden on pregnant women by making it easier for them to request accommodations without fear of repercussions.”

Said the executive director of NOW-NYC:  “The changes that we are talking about are simple — an extra bathroom break, the permission to carry a water bottle, or to be able to use a stool instead of standing all day. These are all real examples of simple accommodations pregnant women asked for and were denied on the job.”