In an article for Law360, Jeremy S. Cole, a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor practice, discusses how the New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Delanoy v. Township of Ocean, and the New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), have created significant new workplace requirements for employees.
In the article, Jeremy explains how New Jersey employers of all sizes are now statutorily prohibited from discriminating against employees because they are pregnant or breastfeeding and how they must be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations to employees. He also goes in depth about the PWFA’s examples of reasonable accommodations for both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“For pregnancy, the PWFA includes the following accommodations: 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,” Jeremy writes. “For breastfeeding, it requires that employers provide ‘reasonable break time each day to the employee and a suitable room or other location with privacy, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the work area for the employee to express breast milk for the child.’ If an employee succeeds in proving its failure-to-accommodate case, it then becomes the employer’s burden to prove, as an affirmative defense, that providing a reasonable accommodation causes an undue hardship. This analysis is also different from the undue hardship analysis under the LAD’s religious accommodation requirements and disability accommodation requirements.”
“NJ Justices’ Pregnancy Bias Ruling Expands Employer Onus,” Law360, April 27, 2021
Jeremy S. Cole counsels clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, handling all aspects of employment and complex commercial litigation matters. His practice includes navigating complex business disputes and resolving employment-related matters, including defending actions and claims by employees concerning misappropriation of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employment discrimination, and wage-and-hour issues. He also negotiates and drafts pre-employment agreements, separation agreements, restrictive covenants, and employee handbooks and policies.