On Tuesday, January 22, New Jersey's Governor signed a law protecting pregnant workers from workplace discrimination. The new provision is similar to the law just passed in New York City. What is unique and totally awesome about both these laws is that they require employers to accommodate pregnant women so that they can continue to do their jobs.
Although the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act bars employers from pregnancy discrimination generally, pregnant workers still frequently face a choice between the health of their pregnancy and earning a paycheck. Legal Momentum helped draft and promote a national Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would shore up the PDA's coverage for all U.S. women, but the bill has languished in Congress. Now, cities and states are picking up the mantle to rectify this gap in coverage for working pregnant women.
Today, the majority of first-time mothers-to-be work through their pregnancies and their paycheck is vital for their families' economic well-being. New Jersey's new law, and others like it, address a problem that hits low-wage women particularly hard. Thank you, Governor Christie, for taking this step in the right direction.
(Find out how your state fares by clicking on Legal Momentum's interactive map).