(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law that bans pregnancy discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for workers on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The bill unanimously passed in the New Jersey Senate in November and passed 77-1 in the New Jersey Assembly in early January. With Governor Christie’s signature, New Jersey joins eight states that expressly require some or all employers to provide accommodations to pregnant workers. Similar federal legislation, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, is also pending in both houses of Congress.
The following is a statement from NWLC Vice-President and General Counsel Emily Martin:
“We applaud Governor Christie for signing this commonsense solution that makes it unmistakably clear that pregnancy discrimination is illegal and that employers should provide reasonable accommodations—like honoring a lifting restriction— to keep women working without risking their health or the health of their pregnancy. This new law will provide pregnant workers with the same types of accommodations that workers with disabilities already receive. The tremendous bi-partisan support for this bill in the New Jersey legislature shows that this is an issue on which people of all political persuasions can agree. We now urge Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would create a level playing field for pregnant workers across the nation.”