Council bill aims to curb discrimination of pregnant workers
City leaders introduced a bill Tuesday that would protect pregnant New Yorkers from discrimination and unfair treatment by the bosses.
Although the law forbids employers from firing, demoting or taking any actions on expecting mothers, City Council members and activists say bosses don't adhere to the rules.
Pregnancy-related discrimination cases increased by 35% in the past decade, according to Councilman James Vacca who introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
Sylvie Bolaire, who joined dozens of the bill's supporters at the steps of City Hall Tuesday, said she lost her job from a beauty supply store recently after her boss found out she was going to have a baby.
"They did that to everyone. They said it was too much of a hassle to deal with pregnant employees," she said in a statement.
Under the act, women would be able to file discrimination claims against their employers with the New York City Human Rights Commission. Vacca, one of the bill's four Council sponsors, said it would give women a proactive approach when dealing with discrimination.
"It could entirely prevent the days and weeks of waiting for the results of a case investigation," he said in a statement.
U.S. Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) sponsored a similar bill in the House of Representatives.