Same-Sex Unions in N.J.: Responsibilities and Restrictions of the New Law

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in Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

by Sandro Polledri

Same sex unions are now a reality in New Jersey, and employers will have to change the way they deal with employees as a result.

It’s too early to tell exactly what steps employers will need to take, but it’s important to understand what led to the decision and legislation.

The Lewis v. Harris case arose when seven same-sex couples brought a lawsuit charging the state’s marriage laws violated the New Jersey Constitution because the laws required civil marriages to be a union between a man and a woman.

In its analysis, the N.J. Supreme Court recognized that the state legislature had already passed laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and judicial decisions have likewise expanded gay and lesbian rights.

Earlier laws granted some rights. For example, in 1992 the state legislature amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to prohibit discrimination on the b...(register to read more)

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