New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Amended to Include Breastfeeding Women as a Protected Category
On January 8, 2018, New Jersey’s antidiscrimination statute, the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), was amended to include breastfeeding and expressing breast milk as a protected category. In light of this amendment, which became effective immediately, an employer cannot make employment decisions, or treat a breastfeeding employee or applicant differently with regard to the terms or conditions of employment, based upon the fact that the employee or applicant is breastfeeding.
In addition, the amendment requires employers to provide accommodations to breastfeeding employees, including providing reasonable break times each day and a suitable location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area where the employee can express breast milk. An employer must provide these accommodations to employees who are breastfeeding unless the employer can demonstrate that doing so would pose an undue hardship on its business operations.
The LAD applies to all private employers in New Jersey, regardless of size. Consequently, we recommend employers review their employee handbooks, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with this amendment to the LAD.