New Jersey Enacts New Law to Protect Breastfeeding Employees

On January 8, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed into law a package of new protections for workers who breastfeed on the job. The law, which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), prohibits employers from firing or discriminating against employees for breastfeeding or expressing milk during the workday.

The new law is in effect now, and it provides the following:

  • Employers are required to provide reasonable break time for breastfeeding employees to breastfeed an infant child or to express milk.
  • Employers are required to provide a suitable location, other than a bathroom stall, for employees to breastfeed or express milk. This location must be near the employee’s work area.
  • Employers are required to accommodate breastfeeding employees unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship for the business.

The breastfeeding protections under the LAD apply to employees regardless of their exempt or non-exempt status under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This means the law applies to you whether you are a salaried or hourly employee. There is no time limit on the LAD breastfeeding protections, in contrast to breastfeeding protections under the FLSA, which only last up to one year after birth.

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