The New Jersey regulations are stricter than the federal law addressing the same issue.
Under federal law, all employers with over 50 employees must comply with regulations that make it illegal to discriminate against employees who are breastfeeding.
New Jersey has passed legislation that provides even stronger civil rights protection for breastfeeding employees. Christopher M. Galusha summarizes the differences between the state and federal law in an article in Construction Law Now.
New Jersey’s law covers all businesses regardless of size. “In addition, employers must provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee to express their milk unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would be an undue hardship on its business operations.”
Employers are required to provide a private room within a reasonable distance from work areas and allow reasonable break time for mothers to breastfeed.
“Unlike the federal law, the reasonable accommodation is without any limitation on time. Although federal law requires breastfeeding accommodations for up to one year, there is no limitation for the accommodation under NJLAD [New Jersey Law Against Discrimination].”
Both the federal law and the state law are silent regarding whether employees must be compensated during their breaks.
The protections for breastfeeding mothers are a common sense acknowledgment that many, if not most, women cannot afford to take off from work for a year to care for their babies.
The regulations benefit employers too, by providing a framework within which trained personnel can continue to work, eliminating the need for employers to train their replacements.
Breastfeeding Discrimination Banned by Pivotal Amendment to NJLAD, Christopher M. Galusha, Construction Law Now, Jan. 24, 2018.