Alanna Sakovits Testifies at the New York City Commission on Human Rights Hearing on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Medical Conditions and Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions

By Alanna Sakovits

The rule proposed by the NYCCHR seeks to establish certain definitions and clarify protections with respect to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions; sexual and reproductive health decisions; and accommodations for employees who need to express breast milk while at work.[1] Specifically, the NYC Bar Sex & Law Committee urged the NYCCHR to continue to exemplify leadership through laws that guarantee comprehensive protection for NYC employees with regard to pregnancy and related conditions and outcomes. In this spirit, the NYCCHR was urged to consider addressing the following additional issues:

  • ensure that medical documentation not be required by an employer for a pregnancy related accommodation in any circumstance;
  • ensure that cooperative dialogue be an individualized process and that temporary excusals from work be recognized as a form of accommodation;
  • include explicit anti-retaliation language in the text of the law;
  • reexamine language around lactation accommodations to ensure clear and timely notice of an employee’s rights to express milk; and
  • include examples that are representative of a broader range of workplace experiences, including gender-nonconforming employers/ees, remote work, and discreet forms of workplace harassment.[2]

A full copy of the written testimony of the NYC Bar Sex and Law Committee can be accessed here.

[1] NYC Human Rights, Proposed Rules on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Medical Conditions and Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/law/title-47-index.page#Proposed (accessed Nov. 23, 2020).

[2] NYC Bar, Committee Report, Testimony Regarding Protecting Individuals with Respect to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Related Medical Conditions and Sexual and Reproductive Health Decisions in New York City, Nov. 12, 2020, https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/reports-listing/reports/detail/pregnancy-childbirth-related-medical-conditions-nyc-human-rights-law (accessed Nov. 23, 2020).

[3] NYC Commission on Human Rights, Notice of Public Hearing, Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule, https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/cchr/downloads/pdf/Proposed_Rule_Pregnancy_Childbirth_Related_Medical_Conditions_9.18.20.pdf (accessed Nov. 23, 2020).

[4] NYC Bar, Written Testimony of the Sex and Law Committee The New York City Commission on Human Rights Hearing Application Of Human Rights Law to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Related Medical Conditions (Chapter 2 of Title 47 Sections § 2-01; 2-07; § 2-08), Nov. 12, 20020, https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.nycbar.org/files/2020803-HumanRightsPregnancyChildbirth_NYCCHRtestimony111220.pdf (accessed Nov. 23, 2020).

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