More Protections for Pregnant Workers in New Jersey
November 13, 2013
Governor Chris Christie recently signed S-2995, the Pregnant Women’s Fairness Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg, which prohibits workplace discrimination against pregnant women. Specifically, the bill adds language to the state’s Law Against Discrimination barring employers from treating pregnant women less favorably than others who are not pregnant but have similar work abilities. The bill protects female employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, including recovery from childbirth. Under the bill, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy related conditions when the employee, with the advice of her physician, requests an accommodation. Accommodations may include bathroom breaks, breaks for increased water intake, modified work schedules and light duty or assistance with manual labor. However, employers are not required to provide pregnant employees with additional paid or unpaid leave. In addition, employers have the right to refuse an accommodation if they can demonstrate that it would cause an undue hardship on business operations. To ensure that your company’s policies and practices do not discriminate against pregnant employees, please contact Dena B. Calo, Esq., Director of the Human Resources Practice Group and Partner in the Employment Law & Litigation Group, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kathryn E. Dugan, Esq., Associate in the Employment Law & Litigation Group, at email@example.com.