njsbf new jersey state bar foundation logo a 501c3 non profit organization

Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to take leave when she is able to perform the functions of her job, and, in some cases, even when she cannot. The New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), prohibits treating pregnant women less favorably than other employees. Thus, a pregnant employee cannot be forced to take leave where a non-pregnant employee would not.  Instead, the PWFA requires an employer to grant pregnant employees reasonable accommodation when recommended by a doctor, including bathroom breaks, water breaks, rest breaks, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring, modified work schedules, and a temporary transfer to less strenuous or hazardous work, unless the employer can show that doing so would be an undue hardship on its operations. Further, in Delanoy v. Twp. of Ocean, the New Jersey Supreme Court confirmed that an employer may be required to provide a reasonable accommodation that entails temporarily permitting a pregnant employee to transfer to work that omits an essential function of her job. –Ashley V. Whitney, Esq., Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC