According to new guidelines released by the Human Rights Commission, it's against the law for a New York City restaurant employee to refuse the sale of an alcoholic beverage to a pregnant women. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that pregnant women avoid consuming alcohol, and restaurants are still required by law to post signs about how drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects. But according to the new guidelines, mothers-to-be can't be denied service of alcohol or kept out of bars because they're expecting — it's their choice, and restaurants must comply. Right now, the Human Rights Commission is investigating a case wherein a pregnant woman was denied access to a bar, although no details have been released about this incident because the case is still open.
The new guidelines note: "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." The guidelines were released to help people interpret a three-year-old law focussing primarily on "pregnant women's rights in the workplace," the AP reports.