Lenzo & Reis, LLC
Employment Attorneys Offering Services Throughout New Jersey
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March 2015 Archives

Pregnancy Discrimination: Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

Although the U.S. Supreme Court is still deciding whether the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, the protections afforded by the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) are more wide-sweeping. For example, the LAD has long been interpreted to provide New Jersey pregnant workers with protections from pregnancy discrimination even though pregnancy was not identified as a protected characteristic until 2014. Further, the 2014 amendments to the LAD require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant and recently pregnant workers. While 2008 changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provide protections for only those pregnant women who are temporarily disabled as a result of pregnancy, the New Jersey Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act, which was incorporated into the LAD, makes clear that women who are pregnant, recently gave birth or experience medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth are entitled to reasonable accommodations without the need for a finding of temporary disability. Although the issue of providing pregnant female workers with accommodations came about slowly in New Jersey, it is a marked improvement over the federal law because it provides protections and mandates reasonable accommodations, if necessary, for normal pregnancies.

What's Brian Williams Got To Do With New Jersey Employment Law?

Although I don't know him personally, during the past ten years I have grown rather fond of Brian Williams, the much beloved anchor of NBC's nightly news. After all, he is the epitome of a true New Jerseyan. He is smart, funny, relatable, a bit edgy (remember his anger over the administration's inaction in the aftermath of Katrina?), a straight talker and tell-it-like-it-is sort of guy. Up until last week, millions of us have come to view him as stand-up, likeable, and credible. But as quickly as snow turned to freezing rain this winter here in the Garden State, the previously generally accepted perception of Brian Williams changed when it was discovered that he misrepresented (okay . . . okay . . . he lied but I told you that I have a fondness for the guy) the facts of a helicopter attack in the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. From what I understand, which is probably all stuff you know already, while reporting in Iraq in 2003, a helicopter was downed after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG). About a half hour later, Brian Williams showed up on the scene in another helicopter, interviewed the brave service members on the downed helicopter and surveyed the damage. For some as-of-yet-undisclosed reason, Williams then re-told the story, first, as if the RPG had been fired at but missed the helicopter on which he was a passenger and, later, as if he had been a passenger on the downed helicopter. While initial criticisms about his claims appear to have been ignored or forgotten (honestly, I have no recollection of that), they resurfaced in early February. Now, additional comments that he has made in the course of reporting, such as that he saw a dead body floating down Canal Street in the French Quarter and that he came down with dysentery after ingesting flood water during Katrina, are being investigated because there was little flooding in the French Quarter and there were no documented cases of dysentery in New Orleans during that time. Williams subsequently apologized for, what George W. Bush once referred to as, misremembering. Since then, Williams benched himself after acknowledging that his "actions" caused him to become part of the news instead of simply reporting it. Like the Terminator, though, it appears that he'll be back as he concluded his only public statement on this scandal when he promised that "upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us." For its part, NBC has largely remained silent on this matter other than to issue a statement making clear that it is "gathering facts" to "make sense" of what happened and "working on what the best next steps are." Incidentally, the fact checking inquiry is being handled internally.

Age Discrimination Claims - State and Federal Law

Age discrimination is all too common, and it can be difficult to prove. In fact, many victims of age discrimination may not realize exactly what is happening to them and that it is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the federal law that protects workers and job applicants from age-related employment discrimination. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is the state law that provides protection from age discrimination. There are big differences between the two laws.

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