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Shape of the state of New Jersey with the article's title to the right.

New Jersey Disability Discrimination Laws

Specific provisions for the state of New Jersey.

Team Disclo
September 13, 2022

Employers must make reasonable accommodations for the limitations of employees or applicants with disabilities, unless employers can show that these accommodations would impose undue hardship on their business operations. Employers also must consider the possibility of reasonable accommodations before discharging, demoting, or refusing to promote or hire employees or applicants with disabilities on the grounds that their disabilities prevent them from performing the job.

Reasonable accommodations can include:

  • making workplace facilities readily accessible and usable by people with disabilities;
  • job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, or leaves of absence;
  • acquiring or modifying equipment or devices; and
  • job reassignments.

Undue hardship is determined based on factors such as the:

  • overall size of employers’ business in terms of workforce size, number and type of facilities, and budget size;
  • type of employers’ operations, including workforce composition and structure;
  • nature and cost of needed accommodations, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits or deductions and outside funding; and
  • extent to which accommodations would involve the waiver of job requirements are essential versus those that are tangential or unrelated to business necessity.

Employers also must conduct their employment procedures in such a way that all people, with or without disabilities, are given equal consideration based on their qualifications and abilities. This requirement applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, promotions, tenure, training, assignments, transfers, and leave. To carry out the requirement, each person’s ability to perform a particular job must be assessed on an individual basis.

N.J. Admin. Code § 13:13-2.5

[Note: The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that an employer doesn’t need to provide an employee with medical treatment as a reasonable accommodation, as medical treatment is neither a modification to the work environment nor a removal of workplace barriers. Caraballo v. City of Jersey City Police Dep’t, 204 A.3d 254 (N.J. 2019).]

[Note: The New Jersey Supreme Court found that employees may establish a disability discrimination claim by showing that their employer failed to respond to their reasonable accommodation request, and do not need to additionally show that the failure-to-accommodate caused or was followed by an adverse employment action. Richter v. Oakland Bd. of Educ., No. A-23 September Term 2019, 2021 BL 212112 (N.J. June 08, 2021).]

Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers, including state and local governments, with 15 or more employees, are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities. Title I protects qualified individuals with disabilities in several areas, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation and job training. It is also unlawful to retaliate against someone for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on disability, or for filing an ADA discrimination charge. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) shares enforcement authority for Title I of the ADA with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has primary responsibility for enforcing the employment provisions of the law. (Note: Federal employees and job applicants are covered by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 instead of the ADA.

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