On December 9, a bill (S2519) was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee which would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) in a variety of significant ways, including:
- Adding “familial status” to the list of protected classes;
- Providing that it would be an unlawful employment practice to fail to provide reasonable accommodations for disability, pregnancy, or pregnancy-related conditions unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The bill also would make it an unlawful employment practice to refuse to permit, at the expense of an employee with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing premises;
- Creating an absolute privilege for communications between the members of the Attorney General’s office and individuals who claim to be a victim of unlawful discrimination where the Attorney General brings an action on that person’s behalf;
- Providing that the Attorney General shall act in consultation with the Director of the Division of Civil Rights to promulgate guidelines to assist employers in adopting written employment policies to prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy; and
- Repealing N.J.S.A. 10:5-2.2, which contains obsolete language allowing the forced retirement of an employee of an institution of higher education at age 70.