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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move May 15, 2019

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Speaker Johnson To Outline Plans On Criminal Justice Reform

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) will deliver his first speech on criminal justice reform this week.

Johnson will unveil several proposals to lay out his vision for a more fair criminal justice system for the 21st century.   

The event is slated for 12-noon, Thursday, May 16, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

Nadler, Federal Lawmakers Reintroduce Bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-Morningside Heights, Midtown), alongside John Katko (R-NY), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) yesterday reintroduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, legislation that would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would address legal ambiguities and help ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. The legislation, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would require employers to make reasonable accommodations—such as a minor job modification—that would allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs.

The bill also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. According to the lawmakers, sixty-two percent of pregnant women and new moms are in the labor force, yet under current law, pregnant workers can be placed on unpaid leave or forced out when they need a simple accommodation to stay on the job.

Currently 25 states – most recently Kentucky and South Carolina – and five cities have adopted pregnancy accommodation laws with bipartisan support. But federal laws are leaving many women behind. A recent report by A Better Balance found that over in two-thirds of cases, courts allowed employers to deny pregnant workers a necessary accommodation. Passing PWFA would eliminate this confusion and ensure women can keep their jobs throughout their pregnancy.

“As we celebrated Mother’s Day last weekend, it is imperative that we give all moms and moms-to-be the certainty that they can stay on the job no matter what. No woman should have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and a paycheck, especially when often a simple fix – a bottle of water during a shift, an extra bathroom break, a chair – will allow women to stay on the job and support their families throughout their pregnancy,” said Nadler.

Hoylman, Krueger Applaud Senate Passage of Legislation Aimed At Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence & Sex Crimes

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator Liz Krueger

State Senators Brad Hoylman (D-Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, UWS, Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the East Village, LES) and Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) applauded the Senate Democratic Majority’s passage of legislation aimed at assisting victims of domestic violence and sex crimes.

The bills that were passed on Tuesday include protecting victims of domestic violence from discrimination, safeguarding the new addresses of victims of sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking, and expanding the definition of coercion in the second degree to include the production or dissemination of intimate images.

The legislation to support and protect crime victims being advanced by the Senate Majority includes:

  • Tenants’ Rights to Call Police or Emergency Assistance: This bill, S.4657-A, introduced by Senator Hoylman, establishes the right of tenants to call police or emergency assistance without fear of losing their housing as the result of property owner actions or local nuisance laws. This will help ensure that victims of domestic violence and crime victims can access police or emergency assistance without fear of losing their housing.

“Survivors of domestic violence should not have to fear that calling 911 will put them at risk of losing their home. Using nuisance laws to punish domestic violence survivors is callous and misguided, and the passage of my Right to Call 911 legislation will make it clear that this is not an acceptable practice in the State of New York,” said Hoylman.

“Domestic violence affects people from every background, from all walks of life, and across the spectrum of gender and sexuality. It can have devastating impacts on the lives, careers, and families of survivors. We must do more to ensure that New York State is a safe haven for those who have been subject to domestic violence,” said Kreuger.

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