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The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), marital status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, mental or physical disability, perceived disability, AIDS and HIV status.

The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment and access to places of public accommodation. Employers may not discriminate against any member of the protected classes listed above in any job-related action, including recruitment, interviewing, hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, and the terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

The law is New Jersey’s version of the federal Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act and the ADA all rolled into one. While these federal laws cover employers with 15 or more employees, the LAD covers all employers regardless of size.

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (www.state.nj.us/lps/dcr) enforces the law.

As under the federal ADA, the LAD requires every place of public accommodation to make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices or procedures to ensure that people with disabilities have access to public places. Reasonable accommodations may include providing auxiliary aides and making physical changes to ensure paths of travel.

(For details on the main federal job discrimination laws, go to www.eeoc.gov.)     

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Excerpted from New Jersey’s 10 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: New Jersey Employment Law

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