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In 2015, the United States Supreme Court in Young v. United Parcel Service, 575 U.S. 206 (2015), provided insight into the analysis required for evaluating discrimination claims involving pregnant employees, including how employers must approach accommodations for those employees. Five years later, Delanoy v. Township of Ocean, ___ N.J. ___ (2020), marks the New Jersey Supreme Court’s first interpretation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(s).

The PWFA is a statutory amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, which was enacted in 2014 to provide additional protections for pregnant and breastfeeding employees. The court in Delanoy affirmed the New Jersey Appellate Division’s holding in Delanoy v. Township of Ocean, 462 N.J. Super. 78 (App. Div. 2020). This opinion is significant as, for the first time, the court identified three distinct theories under which claims can be brought under the PWFA, including: (1) unequal or unfavorable treatment; (2) failure to accommodate; and (3) unlawful penalization.

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