New Jersey Enacts State Anti-Discrimination Protections for Breastfeeding
Newly enacted amendments to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) have expanded state anti-discrimination protections in the workplace, housing, and in public accommodations to include individuals who are breastfeeding or expressing milk. The amendments also require employers to provide reasonable accommodation to breastfeeding employees. The amendments took effect immediately upon signing by the Governor on January 8, 2018.
Under the amendments, it is now an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual on the basis of breastfeeding. Employers further are required to provide reasonable accommodation for the expression of milk during the workday, unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would be an undue hardship on the business operations of the employer. The amendments state that reasonable accommodations include providing:
- reasonable break time each day to express milk, and
- a room or other private location, other than a toilet still, in close proximity to the employee’s work location for the expression of milk.
Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action or otherwise retaliating against a worker for requesting or making use of an accommodation relating to breastfeeding or expressing milk in the workplace.