Sepulveda v. Borne Holding Co., Inc., 2010 WL 5018534 (App. Div., December 9, 2010) – As the debate continues over the applicability and scope of individual liability under the NJLAD, the Appellate Division recently announced that the officers of a company may be individually liable for aiding and abetting the “employer” in committing discriminatory acts. When the plaintiff’s employer, Borne Holding Co. (BHC), decided to relocate, a supervisor advised the plaintiff that he was required to work on Sundays to assist. The plaintiff told the company president and vice president that his religious beliefs prevented him from working on Sundays. Neither attempted to accommodate him; rather, the vice president told him that he would be “written up,” and then the president fired him. The plaintiff sued BHC for failure to accommodate a religious belief under the NJLAD, and asserted individual liability against the president and vice president for aiding and abetting BHC’s wrongful acts. The Appellate Division held that a reasonable jury could conclude that the company officers had aided and abetted the employer because they knowingly and substantially assisted the employer in committing the wrongful act.

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