Sen. Joseph A. Griffo says the Senate has passed, with his help, a bill requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions, as well as a bill to increase penalties against sex traffickers.
“Sad as it is to admit, pregnant women have risked their health too many times to do their job, especially if that job is at all physically strenuous,” said Griffo, a Rome Republican who represents the towns of Massena, Brasher, Norfolk, Stockholm, Potsdam, Pierrepont, Russell, Clifton, Fine, and Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County.
Griffo says the bill imposes no hardship on employers, but “merely requires a reasonable accommodation – such as a foot stool to rest or an additional break for water.” In a press release on the matter, he says the bill is humane and fiscally conservative.
Key provisions of the human trafficking measure include raising the penalty for sex trafficking to a class B violent felony; creating a felony-level sex offense called “aggravated patronizing a minor”; and aligning the penalties for patronizing a minor with those of statutory rape.
Both of these bills were passed by the Senate last year as part of their Women’s Equality Agenda. Both now await action in the Assembly, which has its own women’s rights bill that includes language on abortion that observers believe the Republican-dominated Senate in unlikely to take up.