On Sept. 24, 2013, the New York City council passed legislation giving pregnant workers valuable new rights in the workplace.

Since 1978, pregnant workers have been protected under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act amending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, it does not require employers to make any accommodations for pregnant workers or those returning to work after childbirth.

As reported in The New York Times, now NYC employers with more than three workers must provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant women and women with post-childbirth and related medical conditions.

For example, suppose you work as a checkout cashier at a New York City supermarket that provides cushioning mats for all cashiers. Your feet are swollen because of your pregnancy, so you request a chair at your register. Prior to the enactment of this law, the employer was not obligated to grant your request. Under the NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, your request qualifies as a reasonable workplace accommodation that your employer must allow.

If you are pregnant or have recently given birth and your employer won’t make reasonable workplace accommodations for you, an experienced NYC employment discrimination attorney can help get you the accommodations you need.