New Jersey’s employment laws offer a wide range of protections for workers, including the right to paid or unpaid family leave in certain circumstances, and the right to recover remedies from employers who engage in unlawful discrimination or retaliation. In order for workers to benefit from these laws, they need to know about their rights. New Jersey employment attorneys can provide employees with everything they need to know about their legal rights, but the state wants people to know before anyone feels the need to contact a lawyer. The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) recently adopted new regulations that require employers to provide their employees with a poster advising them of their rights under two state statutes, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the Family Leave Act (FLA).
The NJLAD is one of the most comprehensive anti-discrimination statutes in the country. It prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions, job duties, benefits, and other features of employment on the basis of a long list of factors. Protected categories include race, religion, age, disability, national origin, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, gender identity or gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and military service, to name a few. The statute requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for certain conditions, including many types of disability, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who object to allegedly unlawful practices or report their concerns.
New Jersey is also one of only a few U.S. states to provide paid family leave for some employees. The FLA provides up to twelve weeks of protected leave during a 24-month period to care for a sick or injured family member or to bond with a newborn or newly-adopted child. The leave may be unpaid or partially paid. The employee may take twelve weeks of leave all at once, or they may break it up over time. Employees may be eligible for leave if their employers employ at least thirty people worldwide. An employee must have worked for the employer for at least a year, and they must have worked at least 1,000 hours in the preceding twelve-month period.