February 25, 2020

February 24, 2020

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Nursing Mothers Are Now Protected Under the NJLAD

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) was amended to prohibit employers from discriminating against women who breastfeed or express milk during breaks. The amendment also requires employers to provide reasonable break time each day, and a suitable location for an employee who is breastfeeding to express milk in private.

The New Jersey Legislature explained that these amendments were designed to ensure that new mothers are able to breastfeed free of discrimination, harassment, or restrictive accommodations. Providing these protections to new mothers in the workplace has become a national trend—New Jersey is now the 18th state to do so. Federal law also provides similar protection to breastfeeding mothers, but it only applies to employers with at least 50 employees.

The amendment does, however, provide a few protections for employers. First, employers are not required to compensate employees while they are breastfeeding unless they already receive compensation during similar break periods. Second, employers will not have to accommodate employees by providing reasonable break periods and a suitable breastfeeding location if it would pose "an undue hardship on business operations." The amendment does not provide any guidance regarding what might constitute an "undue hardship" as it relates to a woman who is breastfeeding, though courts may apply existing principles to this new scenario.

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About this Author

Louis Chodoff, Labor, Employment, Harassment, Discrimination, Ballard Spahr, Law FIrm

Louis L. Chodoff handles labor and employment law counseling and litigation associated with harassment, discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, wrongful discharge, and restrictive covenant disputes.

Mr. Chodoff litigates in state and federal courts as well as in various administrative agencies such as the New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He counsels his clients on the employment and labor law implications of...

Kelley Kindig, Ballard Spahr Law Firm, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney
Of Counsel

Kelly T. Kindig represents public and private employers in a broad range of employment litigation and counseling and labor matters. She helps clients develop employment policies relating to personnel and employment law issues and advises clients regarding compliance with various employment and labor laws, including Title VII, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, NLRA, and LMRA.

Ms. Kindig also counsels on hiring, firing, and disciplinary practices, as well as restrictive covenant matters. She is experienced with collective action litigation under the FLSA and ADEA and defends employers in employment litigation, including race, sex, and age discrimination, and sexual harassment lawsuits. Ms. Kindig represents employers in collective bargaining negotiations and labor arbitrations, as well as unfair labor practice charges and representation petitions filed with federal and state administrative agencies.

Noah Goodman, Ballard Spahr Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Attorney

Noah Goodman drafts federal court memoranda and position statements before administrative agencies. He also conducts research and advises employers on issues related to restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and unfair competition.

Prior to joining the firm, he oversaw a political campaign for a former Philadelphia City Councilman. Mr. Goodman also writes on collective bargaining issues in professional sports and was selected to present his law review comment, The Evolution and Decline of Free Agency in Major League Baseball, at the 28th...