“New Jersey’s pregnant workers and their families will soon have long overdue health and financial protection thanks to a new law passed nearly unanimously by the state legislature earlier this month and signed by Governor Christie yesterday. The measure will help to combat harmful pregnancy discrimination, marking significant progress toward a more fair and family friendly New Jersey.
In 2012, more than 74,000 women in New Jersey were pregnant and held jobs. When this new law takes effect, it will guarantee pregnant workers in the state the same reasonable workplace accommodations available to all workers with temporary physical limitations, such as being able to carry a water bottle or sit while providing customer service. Despite federal protections provided by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, pregnant workers are often denied these accommodations in our country today.
We commend the coalition of workers and advocates who pushed for this common sense measure, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg for introducing it, the lawmakers who championed and supported it, and Governor Christie for making it law. The law will allow New Jersey’s pregnant workers to stay on the job at a critical time, ultimately protecting the economic security of their families and all those who rely on their wages. This is good news for New Jersey.
Congress should follow the lead of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and now New Jersey, which have adopted laws to address pregnancy discrimination, as well as other states that have extended protections for pregnant workers through their anti-discrimination laws. By prioritizing passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Congress can establish a much-needed national standard.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.