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Buono Measure To Inform Pregnant Women Of Disability Benefits Eligibility Passes Assembly

TRENTON – Employers would have to prominently post notices informing employees of participation in a temporary disability insurance (TDI) program and the right of pregnant women to receive disability benefits under a bill sponsored by Senator Barbara Buono and given final legislative approval by the Assembly today.

“Many women do not realize that New Jersey law recognizes pregnancy as a disability and makes them eligible for temporary disability benefits,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “This bill helps to educate New Jersey’s women to the benefits they are entitled to receive when they become pregnant. Hopefully this will allow more women to get pregnant and go on maternity leave without feeling like they are putting their family’s economic well-being at risk.”

The bill, S-488, would require every employer to prominently post a notice regarding the employer’s participation in a TDI program and that the notice would describe the TDI benefits available to employees of participating employers and disclose that pregnancy is regarded by law as a disability and that pregnant employees are entitled to TDI benefits to the same extent as other disabled employees.

The bill would also require each participating employer to give a copy of benefit instructions to any disabled employee as soon as the employer is aware of the disability and that the Department of Labor would provide the applicable notices to employers upon request and without charge.

“It is important to help expectant mothers realize that they have the right to go on disability in their final months of pregnancy and have that decision treated just like any other decision to go on disability,” added Senator Buono.

The bill was passed by a vote of 75-2 and will now go to the Governor’s desk for his approval.