New York Officials Want Birth-Control Job Coverage Law

New York officials said they’ll propose legislation to blunt the effect of a U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting a requirement that employers provide insurance that covers birth control.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and State Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins are seeking to require businesses to tell prospective employees about contraception-coverage benefits. The Reproductive Rights Disclosure Act would require employers to give 90 days’ notice before changing coverage.

“No woman should have her personal health-care decisions dictated by the religious beliefs of her boss,” Schneiderman said today in a statement.

The court in a 5-4 vote ruled last month that family-run businesses including the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. can claim a religious exemption from the requirement that they include contraceptives in their health-care plans. Such companies are exempt from the contraception requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the court said.

The U.S. Senate yesterday turned back a Democratic proposal that would reverse the Supreme Court ruling by requiring for-profit companies to provide workers with insurance coverage for birth control even if they have religious objections.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires that insurance coverage offered by employers meets minimum standards. President Barack Obama said contraceptive coverage is crucial to women’s health.

The New York Legislature won’t return to Albany until January after its annual session ended last month.

Democrats are poised to reclaim the majority in the upper chamber in January for the first time since 2010 after Governor Andrew Cuomo brokered a power-sharing agreement between Stewart-Cousins’s mainline Democrats and a breakaway faction. If they maintain seats they now control, Democrats would hold the legislature and the governor’s office.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christie Smythe in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, at

csmythe1@bloomberg.net; Freeman Klopott in Albany at fklopott@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net David Glovin, Charles Carter

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