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Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – This week on Empire State Weekly, a measure that would keep a downstate energy company from dumping potentially hazardous wastewater into the Hudson River passed in the final days of the legislative session. The bill has broad support passing in the assembly and the legislature.

It now awaits Governor Hochul’s signature. State Senator Pete Harkham explained he’s urging the Governor to sign the bill quickly due to the time-sensitive nature of the legislation.

“And now we’re urging the Governor to call the bill and sign it, it’s time sensitive. You know the plan was calling for this release as early as August maybe September so we’re urging the Governor to call the bill as soon as possible.” Harkham Said.

The legislation came after environmental advocates argued that dumping wastewater into the Hudson carried the risk of letting cancer-causing isotopes into the river. The dumping was part of the decommissioning of the Indian Point power plant, in Westchester County.

Also this week, Ryan McCall an attorney with Tulley Rinckey explained the impacts a new federal law will have on pregnant employees. He explained the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act mandates that employers offer accommodations for pregnant workers who have limitations related to their pregnancy.

“If it’s a situation where say you need an extra doctor’s appointment say if you’re a pregnant person and you need to leave work for 30, 45 minutes once every other week they now have to give you an accommodation of that level. Now there are certain limitations to it such as you work heavy construction and you say I’m no longer able to lift heavy objects that can go somewhat beyond the reasonable accommodation level. So it’s really somewhat of finding that middle ground,” said McCall.

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