In the November 2013 and January 2014 issues of the New Jersey eAuthority, we reported on the Senate and Assembly’s passage of a bill (S2995) expanding employment protections for pregnant women. On January 21, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed this bill into law. The amendment is effective immediately and expands employment protections for pregnant women by (1) amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to add pregnancy (including childbirth recovery) to the list of protected classifications, (2) prohibiting less favorable treatment of women based upon pregnancy, and (3) requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s pregnancy-related needs when requested by the employee upon advice of her doctor (such as bathroom breaks, periodic rest, job restructuring, assistance with manual labor, etc., but not mandating additional leave). New Jersey employers should review their reasonable accommodation policies to determine whether revisions are necessary to comply with this new amendment, and should ensure that human resources and other management personnel are trained on these new requirements.
Note: This article was published in the February 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.