On January 17, 2012, a bill (S886) was reintroduced in an attempt to expand the NJLAD to include in its list of protected categories “pregnancy, childbirth, breast-feeding or expressing milk or related medical conditions.” Under the bill, it would be unlawful for female employees to be fired or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions or because of breast-feeding or expressing milk during breaks. The typical damages under the NJLAD would be applicable for prohibited discrimination.
The bill would further require employers to provide reasonable break time each day to an employee to express breast milk and to provide a location (other than a toilet stall) where the employee can express her milk in private. Violating these provisions would subject employers to a civil penalty ranging from $500 to $1000. (It should be noted, however, that employers already are subject to similar requirements under 2010 amendments to the FLSA.) Previous versions of this bill were unsuccessful in the 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010 legislative sessions.