New Jersey Expands Rights for Nursing Mothers at Work

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By Leslie A. Pappas

Nursing mothers in New Jersey will have greater protections against employer discrimination under a law Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed Jan. 8.

Under the law, employers must provide accommodations for employees who are breastfeeding and may not fire or discriminate against a worker for breastfeeding or pumping milk during breaks.

“We must ensure that new mothers returning to work have the ability to breastfeed, and that no woman is harassed, fired, or provided restrictive accommodations for expressing milk for their child,” Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement Jan. 8 after Christie signed the bill into law.

Under the measure, the room provided by employers for expressing milk must afford privacy for the nursing mother, must be close to her work area, and can’t be a toilet stall.

While New Jersey’s existing law includes pregnancy under civil rights protections, it doesn’t explicitly include breastfeeding or expressing milk. The new law changes New Jersey’s “Law Against Discrimination” to make clear that nursing mothers have a right to pump milk during the workday. The law is P.L. 2017 c. 263.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Philadelphia at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at

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New Jersey A2294 is at

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