Historically, women occupy a disadvantaged position when it comes to employment, even in the more progressive workplaces of the modern U.S. The nation’s Department of Labor states that in 2020, they earned only 82 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. This applies to almost every occupation. The Office of Disability Employment Policy reports that disabled men are considerably more likely to find jobs than women possessing similar conditions. According to CNBC, females also experience more difficulty obtaining higher-level positions than men even when equally qualified and ambitious.
Pregnant women struggle even more, subject to discrimination and hassle trying to receive needed maternity leave. However, both New York and federal law do offer them certain rights.
1. Safety from termination
The Empire State prohibits employers with more than four workers to fire one for being pregnant. The federal government forbids those with over 15 employees from doing so in any of the states. Expecting women terminated solely for their condition may have legal recourse.
2. Reasonable accommodations
New York employers must provide changes needed for pregnant workers to continue working. This may include breaks, lighter duties, seats, time off for recovery and more.
3. Short-term disability benefits
The state forces most employers to have short-term disability coverage for their workers. It classifies pregnancy as a disability, qualifying pregnant employees for benefits. As a result, these women may receive the same compensation as injured employees for a period of time after giving birth.
Women, particularly pregnant ones, face many challenges in the workplace. However, both the New York and federal governments have provisions in place to offset them.