As we previously reported here, on September 30, 2013, the New Jersey Senate introduced a bill to include pregnancy among the list of enumerated protected categories under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The Senate unanimously passed that bill, with amendments, on November 18, 2013. On January 6, 2014, the New Jersey Assembly passed the bill by a 77-1 vote.
If signed by the governor, the bill would prohibit employers from treating women affected by pregnancy or childbirth less favorably than other employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work. The bill would also 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 accommodation. It would also prohibit employers from penalizing employees affected by pregnancy in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for using accommodations.
Having passed through the legislature with only one “no” vote, the bill now heads to Governor Christie’s desk for his signature. Check back here for additional updates on the bill.