Written by Michael Arnold
As reported last month, effective January 30, 2014, the New York City Human Rights Law will require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers. The City Council included in that new law a requirement that employers notify new and existing employees of this new right via a written notice — the form and manner of distribution of which the City Commission of Human Rights would determine. The law also encouraged (but did not require) employers to post that notice conspicuously in an area accessible to employees. Now the Commission is out with its new Pregnancy and Employment Rights Poster, which is available here in English and in several other languages.
While the Commission has identified it as a “poster,” employers, to be safe and until told otherwise, should treat it as the “notice” referenced in the law, and distribute it to their new employees (starting on January 30, 2014) and existing employees (by no later than May 30, 2014), and hang them, if so desired, in their workplaces. It’s also a wonderful time, given that it’s nearing year-end, to update your handbooks accordingly.
The law is silent as to the method of distribution and the Commission has not sought to fill in this legislative gap, but regardless of whether you choose the hard copy or electronic distribution method, we strongly recommend that you obtain written employee acknowledgments of receipt.