There’s a certain doom that sets in around the eight-month mark of pregnancy; an acknowledgment that soon the baby will be here, you’ll have no time for yourself, and the next few months will inevitably be spent in a sleepless, unshowered haze. It’s around that time that many expecting mothers decide that they need to get out of the damn house and get a damn drink, to reclaim that last vestige of the pre-pregnant self. Your doctor said one drink was fine! It’s time, you think, to live on the edge for one final, fleeting moment.
Now pregnant women in New York City will have their right to their one damn drink in a (gasp!) bar guaranteed by the city’s Human Rights Commission. The Associated Press reports that the Commission will release new guidelines that prevent bars from banning pregnant women or denying them service. The Commission’s new guidelines state:
“Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities and what is or is not healthy for a fetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions.”
While the AP notes that the guidelines are “unusual,” there is a pending case filed by a woman who was denied entry to a bar or club because she was pregnant. Officials for the Commission argue that health decisions should be left to women, not to bartenders.
The new guidelines are part of the Commission’s broader focus on legal protections for pregnant women, which are currently located primarily in the workplace. While federal law requires pregnant workers to be treated the same as a temporarily disabled employee, New York City’s 2013 anti-discrimination measure provides more protection. The Commission’s new guidelines give a clear set of examples of how the measure works:
It requires all but very small employers to accommodate reasonable pregnancy-related requests — such as minor work schedule changes, providing a chair or letting workers eat at their desks — even if other employees can’t do the same without a doctor’s note saying they need it. There are exceptions if accommodating the expectant mother would unduly strain the employer financially or operationally, or if the employee can’t do her job, no other comparable jobs are available and a lesser post or an unpaid leave is unworkable, the guidelines explain.
So, congratulations to the expecting mothers of New York City, you get to eat at your desk and have an after work drink with your co-workers. Happy Mother’s Day and whatnot.
Image via Getty.