New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill, known as S-2995/A-4486, protecting pregnant women from workplace discrimination. The New Jersey State Assembly and State Senate had previously approved the law by two nearly unanimous votes. The bill, which amends New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination (LAD), prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions that may arise during recovery from childbirth.
The main provision of the amendment requires employers to provide pregnant workers with reasonable accommodations in the workplace. This includes giving pregnant women breaks to use the restroom, allowing pregnant women to carry water bottles in the workplace, and modifying a pregnant worker's responsibilities to avoid hazardous materials and conditions.
Furthermore, an employee who requests or makes use of a reasonable accommodation is protected against retaliation. Employers are also required to comply with other reasonable requests based on a doctor's advice unless they can show that it would cause them an undue hardship or have serious negative consequences to their business.
This law comes at a time where more and more pregnant women continue to work throughout their pregnancies. Now, these workers do not have to fear that they will be penalized simply because of their pregnancy or suffer complications from continuing strenuous work during their pregnancy. By signing the bill, Governor Chris Christie allowed New Jersey to join several other states that provide discrimination protection for pregnant workers. The amended law goes into effect immediately.