On January 19, 2011, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights proposed amendments to the Regulations Pertaining to Discrimination on the Basis of Disability, N.J.A.C. 13.13. The proposed regulations would implement three changes to existing regulations concerning employment:

  • The Division proposes to amend the standards for determining whether the cost of a particular accommodation poses an undue hardship to require consideration of the availability of tax credits, tax deductions, and other outside funding.
  • To avoid confusion or possible contradiction with respect to coverage of preexisting conditions mandated by the recently enacted federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), the Division proposes to delete from N.J.A.C. 13:13-2.6(c) language allowing employers to offer medical coverage excluding preexisting conditions. In its place, the Division proposes language providing that employers may offer medical insurance that limits coverage for certain procedures or treatments, as long as these activities are not being used as a subterfuge to evade the purposes of the subchapter.
  • Finally, the Division proposes to amend the “direct threat” exception found in N.J.A.C. 13:13-2.8(a)1 and 2 to expressly reference the requirement that the availability of reasonable accommodations be taken into account prior to an employer taking an adverse action under the exception.

According to the Division, all three proposed changes are consistent with existing guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To view the proposed regulations, click here. Interested persons may submit written comments on the proposed regulations to the Division on Civil Rights through March 19, 2011.

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