Prohibitions against Pregnancy Discrimination
Employers are barred from discriminating against any current or potential employee on the basis of that employee’s pregnancy.
To read the full text of the statute, click here.
Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy Related Disability Accommodation
An employer must provide a pregnant woman or woman affected by pregnancy or childbirth with a reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Examples include: bathroom breaks, breaks for increased water intake, periodic rest, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring or modified work schedules, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or hazardous work.
The employee must request the accommodation upon the advice of a medical provider. Also, an employer may not penalize an employee for requesting an accommodation or using an accommodation.
To read the full text of the statute, click here.Breastfeeding Rights
A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement where the mother is otherwise permitted. It is unclear whether this authorization extends to a woman’s place of employment.
Family and Childcare Leave Laws
A pregnant woman is entitled to temporary disability benefits for four weeks before birth and six weeks after birth. Eligible workers may receive up to twenty-six weeks of cash benefits during a twelve month period. Leaving work because of pregnancy disability does not disqualify a woman from receiving unemployment benefits. TDI leave and family leave must be taken sequentially.
Family leave insurance offers up to six weeks of paid leave for employees who need to care for an immediate family member, such as a new child or seriously ill family member, including domestic partners. Leave may be used by either parent. Eligible public and private sector workers are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 24-month period.
*In the private sector, leave is an expansion of New Jersey’s TDI program and applies to employers with 50 or more employees nationwide and employees who have worked for at least 1,000 hours in the preceding year. In the public sector, employees who have worked at least 1,000 hours over the preceding year are eligible for leave.
State workers who earn sick leave are entitled to use it for the care of a seriously ill child or family member, including a family member disabled by pregnancy.
Family leave insurance offers up to six weeks of paid leave for employees who need to care for an immediate family member, including new children and seriously ill family members.
The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) expands upon federal leave provisions, allowing employees to care for a civil union partner. Employees may not use medical leave for their own medical needs, so this leave does not apply to a woman who needs to take time off for her pregnancy.
For the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, click here.
For the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, click here.
For further information on your pregnancy rights, contact Legal Momentum.
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