Laws against discriminatory conduct in sectors like housing and employment did not always feature predominantly across the country. Notably, truly meaningful safeguards were first ushered in at the federal level pursuant to the enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
That legislation – especially its enumerated “protected categories” set forth in Title VII of the law – is now known by employers nationally.
Its bottom line, which has now been promoted, augmented and enforced for more than half a century, is this: Workers cannot be discriminated against based on select characteristics ranging from race and color to national origin, religion and additional attributes.
Notably, most states have drafted supplementary legislation to underscore and even materially reinforce Title VII protections.
New Jersey is unquestionably one of those states. In fact, the state’s Law Against Discrimination was actually enacted a full generation prior to the seminal 1964 federal law, back in 1945.
And it is far from symbolic. Indeed, it has real teeth and commands national prominence for its early passage and particulars. One in-depth online overview of the law stresses its status as “the first state since the Reconstruction era to pass comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.”
The LAD created the state’s Division on Civil Rights, which has now overseen and enforced New Jersey’s anti-discrimination laws for more than 70 years. The above-cited primer on the LAD notes that it “is universally regarded as one of the most comprehensive and respected anti-discrimination laws in the country.”
Business principals spanning the state might reasonably have questions concerning the law and its enforcement from time to time. They can turn for guidance and diligent representation to a proven New Jersey pro-employer labor law legal team.