One of Governor Christie’s last acts before leaving office was to sign a law to protect breastfeeding under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. It is now a civil rights violation for an employer to fire or otherwise discriminate against a female employee for breastfeeding or expressing her milk during breaks.  A NJ employer also may not refuse to hire a breastfeeding job applicant. NJ’s law applies to all employers regardless of size and applies to all employees. It requires employers to provide reasonable break times each day and a suitable room or location, other than a toilet stall, for an employee to express milk in private, which should be near the employee's work area, unless the employer can show that providing this accommodation would pose an undue hardship on its business operations.

Q: Does NY have a similar law.

A: NY has a similar law. NY working moms have the right to use paid break or meal times, or reasonable unpaid break times, to pump milk or nurse their children for up to three years (there is no time limit in NJ’s law). All NY employers must attempt to accommodate an employee's request for a private place to pump milk or breastfeed and must make a reasonable effort to insure that the room or other location is neither inconvenient or impracticable. The area must be hygienic.