In Iovanella v. Genentech, Inc., 2011 WL 5833170 (3d Cir., Nov. 21, 2011), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) familial status is not a protected category in the employment context. The worker alleged, among other things, that because she was a single mother, her former employer refused to replace her BlackBerry and treated her unfairly. The employee also alleged that she felt compelled to resign because of the way she was treated due to the fact that she was a single mother. On appeal, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that familial status is not a protected category under the LAD. In reaching that decision, the court reasoned that since the LAD specifically protects familial status in the context of housing, the absence of familial status from the enumerated categories of individuals protected in the employment discrimination context was intentional.

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