On September 30th, New Jersey Senator Loretta Weinberg proposed legislation to amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) to include pregnancy and childbirth as protected categories. As we previously reported, the New York City Council recently passed a similar bill on September 24, 2013, which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees or employees suffering from medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
The New Jersey bill would prohibit employers from treating women affected by pregnancy in a manner less favorable than employees not affected by pregnancy but similar in their ability or inability to work. If passed, the bill would require employers of women affected by pregnancy to make available reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related needs when the employee, with the advice of her physician, requests the accommodation. The bill would also prohibit employers from penalizing employees affected by pregnancy in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for using accommodations or for taking leave required by their pregnancy.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Labor Committee. We will provide any updates on the bill’s progress in the legislature as they occur.