Bill Text: NJ S2741 | 2022-2023 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits discrimination on basis of height or weight under "Law Against Discrimination."

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-06-02 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Labor Committee [S2741 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2022-S2741-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2741

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 2, 2022

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ANDREW ZWICKER

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits discrimination on basis of height or weight under "Law Against Discrimination."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning discrimination on the basis of height or weight and amending P.L.1945, c.169, P.L.1954, c.198, and P.L.1992, c.146.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 3 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-3) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    The Legislature finds and declares that practices of discrimination against any of its inhabitants, because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability [or], nationality, or height or weight, are matters of concern to the government of the State, and that such discrimination threatens not only the rights and proper privileges of the inhabitants of the State but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic State; provided, however, that nothing in this expression of policy prevents the making of legitimate distinctions between citizens and aliens when required by federal law or otherwise necessary to promote the national interest.

     The Legislature further declares its opposition to such practices of discrimination when directed against any person by reason of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability [or], nationality, or height or weight of that person or that person's family members, partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers, in order that the economic prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State may be protected and ensured.

     The Legislature further finds that because of discrimination, people suffer personal hardships, and the State suffers a grievous harm.  The personal hardships include: economic loss; time loss; physical and emotional stress; and in some cases severe emotional trauma, illness, homelessness or other irreparable harm resulting from the strain of employment controversies; relocation, search and moving difficulties; anxiety caused by lack of information, uncertainty, and resultant planning difficulty; career, education, family and social disruption; and adjustment problems, which particularly impact on those protected by this act.  Such harms have, under the common law, given rise to legal remedies, including compensatory and punitive damages.  The Legislature intends that such damages be available to all persons protected by this act and that this act shall be liberally construed in combination with other protections available under the laws of this State.

(cf: P.L.2019, c.436, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 4 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-4) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    All persons shall have the opportunity to obtain employment, and to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of any place of public accommodation, publicly assisted housing accommodation, and other real property without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression [or], source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or height or weight subject only to conditions and limitations applicable alike to all persons.  This opportunity is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.184, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 6 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-6) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    There is created in the Department of Law and Public Safety a division known as "The Division on Civil Rights" with power to prevent and eliminate discrimination in the manner prohibited by this act against persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, nationality, disability, [or], sex [or], because of their liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or height or weight by employers, labor organizations, employment agencies or other persons and to take other actions against discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sex, familial status, nationality, disability, [or] age [or], because of their liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or height or weight, as herein provided; and the division created hereunder is given general jurisdiction and authority for such purposes.

(cf: P.L.2006, c.100, s.5)

 

     4. Section 8 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-8) is amended to read as follows:

     8.    The Attorney General shall:

     a.     Exercise all powers of the division not vested in the commission.

     b.    Administer the work of the division.

     c.     Organize the division into sections, which shall include but not be limited to a section which shall receive, investigate, and act upon complaints alleging discrimination against persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, disability, nationality [or], sex [or], because of their liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or height or weight; and another which shall, in order to eliminate prejudice and to further good will among the various racial and religious and nationality groups in this State, study, recommend, prepare and implement, in cooperation with such other departments of the State Government or any other agencies, groups or entities both public and private, such educational and human relations programs as are consonant with the objectives of this act; and prescribe the organization of said sections and the duties of his subordinates and assistants.

     d.    Appoint a Director of the Division on Civil Rights, who shall act for the Attorney General, in the Attorney General's place and with the Attorney General's powers, which appointment shall be subject to the approval of the commission and the Governor, a deputy director and such assistant directors, field representatives and assistants as may be necessary for the proper administration of the division and fix their compensation within the limits of available appropriations.  The director, deputy director, assistant directors, field representatives and assistants shall not be subject to the Civil Service Act and shall be removable by the Attorney General at will.

     e.     Appoint such clerical force and employees as the Attorney General may deem necessary and fix their duties, all of whom shall be subject to the Civil Service Act.

     f.     Maintain liaison with local and State officials and agencies concerned with matters related to the work of the division.

     g.    Adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind suitable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this act.

     h.    Conduct investigations, receive complaints and conduct hearings thereon other than those complaints received and hearings held pursuant to the provisions of this act.

     i.     In connection with any investigation or hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this act, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person, under oath, and, in connection therewith, require the production for examination of any books or papers relating to any subject matter under investigation or in question by the division and conduct such discovery procedures which may include the taking of interrogatories and oral depositions as shall be deemed necessary by the Attorney General in any investigation.  The Attorney General may make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas by the director.  The failure of any witness when duly subpoenaed to attend, give testimony, or produce evidence shall be punishable by the Superior Court of New Jersey in the same manner as such failure is punishable by such court in a case therein pending.

     j.     Issue such publications and such results of investigations and research tending to promote good will and to minimize or eliminate discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, disability, nationality [or], sex, or height or weight, as the commission shall direct, subject to available appropriations.

     k.    Render each year to the Governor and Legislature a full written report of all the activities of the division.

     l.     Appoint, subject to the approval of the commission, a panel of not more than five hearing examiners, each of whom shall be duly licensed to practice law in this State for a period of at least five years, and each to serve for a term of one year and until his successor is appointed, any one of whom the director may designate in his place to conduct any hearing and recommend findings of fact and conclusions of law.  The hearing examiners shall receive such compensation as may be determined by the Attorney General, subject to available appropriations.

(cf: P.L.2006, c.100, s.6)

 

     5.    Section 1 of P.L.1954, c.198 (C.10:5-9.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    The Division on Civil Rights in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall enforce the laws of this State against discrimination in housing built with, or leased with the assistance of, public funds or public assistance, pursuant to any law, and in real property, as defined in the law hereby supplemented, because of race, religious principles, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression [or], source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or height or weight.  The said laws shall be so enforced in the manner prescribed in the act to which this act is a supplement.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.184, s.2)

 

     6.    Section 9 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-10) is amended to read as follows:

     9.    The commission shall:

     a.     Consult with and advise the Attorney General with respect to the work of the division.

     b.    Survey and study the operations of the division.

     c.     Report to the Governor and the Legislature with respect to such matters relating to the work of the division and at such times as it may deem in the public interest.

     The mayors or chief executive officers of the municipalities in the State may appoint local commissions on civil rights to aid in effectuating the purposes of this act.  Such local commissions shall be composed of representative citizens serving without compensation. Such commissions shall attempt to foster through community effort or otherwise, good will, cooperation and conciliation among the groups and elements of the inhabitants of the community, and they may be empowered by the local governing bodies to make recommendations to them for the development of policies and procedures in general and for programs of formal and informal education that will aid in eliminating all types of discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,  familial status, disability, nationality [or], sex or height or weight.

(cf: P.L.2006, c.100, s.8)

 

     7.    Section 11 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  It shall be an unlawful employment practice, or, as the case may be, an unlawful discrimination:

     a.     For an employer, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, or because of the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or the nationality of any individual, or because of the refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test to an employer, or because of the height or weight of any individual, except in any circumstance in which the height or weight of an individual is a bona fide occupational qualification, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge or require to retire, unless justified by lawful considerations other than age, from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment; provided, however, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice to refuse to accept for employment an applicant who has received a notice of induction or orders to report for active duty in the armed forces; provided further that nothing herein contained shall be construed to bar an employer from refusing to accept for employment any person on the basis of sex in those certain circumstances where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification, reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise; provided further that it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for a club exclusively social or fraternal to use club membership as a uniform qualification for employment, or for a religious association or organization to utilize religious affiliation as a uniform qualification in the employment of clergy, religious teachers or other employees engaged in the religious activities of the association or organization, or in following the tenets of its religion in establishing and utilizing criteria for employment of an employee; provided further, that it shall not be an unlawful employment practice to require the retirement of any employee who, for the two-year period immediately before retirement, is employed in a bona fide executive or a high policy-making position, if that employee is entitled to an immediate non-forfeitable annual retirement benefit from a pension, profit sharing, savings or deferred retirement plan, or any combination of those plans, of the employer of that employee which equals in the aggregate at least $27,000.00; and provided further that an employer may restrict employment to citizens of the United States where such restriction is required by federal law or is otherwise necessary to protect the national interest.

     The provisions of subsections a. and b. of section 57 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.34:11A-20), and the provisions of section 58 of P.L.2003, c.246 (C.26:8A-11), shall not be deemed to be an unlawful discrimination under P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.).

     For the purposes of this subsection, a "bona fide executive" is a top level employee who exercises substantial executive authority over a significant number of employees and a large volume of business.  A "high policy-making position" is a position in which a person plays a significant role in developing policy and in recommending the implementation thereof.

     For the purposes of this subsection, an unlawful employment practice occurs, with respect to discrimination in compensation or in the financial terms or conditions of employment, each occasion that an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, including, but not limited to, each occasion that wages, benefits, or other compensation are paid, resulting in whole or in part from the decision or other practice.

     In addition to any other relief authorized by the "Law Against Discrimination," P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) for discrimination in compensation or in the financial terms or conditions of employment, liability shall accrue and an aggrieved person may obtain relief for back pay for the entire period of time, except not more than six years, in which the violation with regard to discrimination in compensation or in the financial terms or conditions of employment has been continuous, if the violation continues to occur within the statute of limitations.

     Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the application of the doctrine of "continuing violation" or the "discovery rule" to any appropriate claim as those doctrines currently exist in New Jersey common law.  It shall be an unlawful employment practice to require employees or prospective employees to consent to a shortened statute of limitations or to waive any of the protections provided by the "Law Against Discrimination," P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.).

     b.    For a labor organization, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy or breastfeeding, or sex of any individual, or because of the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or nationality of any individual, or because of the height or weight of any individual, except in any circumstance in which the height or weight of an individual is a bona fide occupational qualification, to exclude or to expel from its membership such individual or to discriminate in any way against any of its members, against any applicant for, or individual included in, any apprentice or other training program or against any employer or any individual employed by an employer; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to bar a labor organization from excluding from its apprentice or other training programs any person on the basis of sex in those certain circumstances where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular apprentice or other training program.

     c.     For any employer or employment agency to print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application for employment, or to make an inquiry in connection with prospective employment, which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality, pregnancy or breastfeeding, or sex or liability of any applicant for employment for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or because of the height or weight of any individual, except in any circumstance in which the height or weight of an individual is a bona fide occupational qualification, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification.

     d.    For any person to take reprisals against any person because that person has opposed any practices or acts forbidden under this act or because that person has sought legal advice regarding rights under this act, shared relevant information with legal counsel, shared information with a governmental entity, or filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this act or to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this act.

     e.     For any person, whether an employer or an employee or not, to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this act, or to attempt to do so.

     f.     (1) For any owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation directly or indirectly to refuse, withhold from or deny to any person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof, or to discriminate against any person in the furnishing thereof, or directly or indirectly to publish, circulate, issue, display, post or mail any written or printed communication, notice, or advertisement to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any such place will be refused, withheld from, or denied to any person on account of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or nationality of such person, or that the patronage or custom thereat of any person of any particular race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding status, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States [or], nationality, or because of the height or weight of any individual, is unwelcome, objectionable or not acceptable, desired or solicited, and the production of any such written or printed communication, notice or advertisement, purporting to relate to any such place and to be made by any owner, lessee, proprietor, superintendent or manager thereof, shall be presumptive evidence in any action that the same was authorized by such person; provided, however, that nothing contained herein shall be construed to bar any place of public accommodation which is in its nature reasonably restricted exclusively to individuals of one sex, and which shall include but not be limited to any summer camp, day camp, or resort camp, bathhouse, dressing room, swimming pool, gymnasium, comfort station, dispensary, clinic or hospital, or school or educational institution which is restricted exclusively to individuals of one sex, provided individuals shall be admitted based on their gender identity or expression, from refusing, withholding from or denying to any individual of the opposite sex any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof on the basis of sex; provided further, that the foregoing limitation shall not apply to any restaurant as defined in R.S.33:1-1 or place where alcoholic beverages are served.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation may deny accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any such place on the basis of height or weight for bona fide safety reasons.

     (2)   Notwithstanding the definition of "a place of public accommodation" as set forth in subsection l. of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-5), for any owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any private club or association to directly or indirectly refuse, withhold from or deny to any individual who has been accepted as a club member and has contracted for or is otherwise entitled to full club membership any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof, or to discriminate against any member in the furnishing thereof on account of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity, or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States [or], nationality [of such person], or because of the height or weight of any individual.

     In addition to the penalties otherwise provided for a violation of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), if the violator of paragraph (2) of subsection f. of this section is the holder of an alcoholic beverage license issued under the provisions of R.S.33:1-12 for that private club or association, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control who shall impose an appropriate penalty in accordance with the procedures set forth in R.S.33:1-31.

     g.    For any person, including but not limited to, any owner, lessee, sublessee, assignee or managing agent of, or other person having the right of ownership or possession of or the right to sell, rent, lease, assign, or sublease any real property or part or portion thereof, or any agent or employee of any of these:

     (1)   To refuse to sell, rent, lease, assign, or sublease or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons any real property or part or portion thereof because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual;

     (2)   To discriminate against any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality [or], source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental or lease of any real property or part or portion thereof or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;

     (3)   To print, publish, circulate, issue, display, post or mail, or cause to be printed, published, circulated, issued, displayed, posted or mailed any statement, advertisement, publication or sign, or to use any form of application for the purchase, rental, lease, assignment or sublease of any real property or part or portion thereof, or to make any record or inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease of any real property, or part or portion thereof which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity, or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, or source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination, and the production of any such statement, advertisement, publicity, sign, form of application, record, or inquiry purporting to be made by any such person shall be presumptive evidence in any action that the same was authorized by such person; provided, however, that nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to bar any person from refusing to sell, rent, lease, assign or sublease or from advertising or recording a qualification as to sex for any room, apartment, flat in a dwelling or residential facility which is planned exclusively for and occupied by individuals of one sex to any individual of the exclusively opposite sex on the basis of sex provided individuals shall be qualified based on their gender identity or expression;

     (4)   To refuse to sell, rent, lease, assign, or sublease or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons any real property or part or portion thereof because of the source of any lawful income received by the person or the source of any lawful rent payment to be paid for the real property; or

     (5)   To refuse to rent or lease any real property to another person because that person's family includes children under 18 years of age, or to make an agreement, rental or lease of any real property which provides that the agreement, rental or lease shall be rendered null and void upon the birth of a child.  This paragraph shall not apply to housing for older persons as defined in subsection mm. of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-5).

     h.    For any person, including but not limited to, any real estate broker, real estate salesperson, or employee or agent thereof:

     (1)   To refuse to sell, rent, assign, lease or sublease, or offer for sale, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease any real property or part or portion thereof to any person or group of persons or to refuse to negotiate for the sale, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease of any real property or part or portion thereof to any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual, or to represent that any real property or portion thereof is not available for inspection, sale, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease when in fact it is so available, or otherwise to deny or withhold any real property or any part or portion of facilities thereof to or from any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, [or] nationality, or because of the height or weight of any individual;

     (2)   To discriminate against any person because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental, lease, assignment or sublease of any real property or part or portion thereof or in the furnishing of facilities or services in connection therewith;

     (3)   To print, publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail, or cause to be printed, published, circulated, issued, displayed, posted or mailed any statement, advertisement, publication or sign, or to use any form of application for the purchase, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease of any real property or part or portion thereof or to make any record or inquiry in connection with the prospective purchase, rental, lease, assignment, or sublease of any real property or part or portion thereof which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination, and the production of any such statement, advertisement, publicity, sign, form of application, record, or inquiry purporting to be made by any such person shall be presumptive evidence in any action that the same was authorized by such person; provided, however, that nothing contained in this subsection h., shall be construed to bar any person from refusing to sell, rent, lease, assign or sublease or from advertising or recording a qualification as to sex for any room, apartment, flat in a dwelling or residential facility which is planned exclusively for and occupied exclusively by individuals of one sex to any individual of the opposite sex on the basis of sex, provided individuals shall be qualified based on their gender identity or expression;

     (4)   To refuse to sell, rent, lease, assign, or sublease or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons any real property or part or portion thereof because of the source of any lawful income received by the person or the source of any lawful rent payment to be paid for the real property; or

     (5)   To refuse to rent or lease any real property to another person because that person's family includes children under 18 years of age, or to make an agreement, rental or lease of any real property which provides that the agreement, rental or lease shall be rendered null and void upon the birth of a child.  This paragraph shall not apply to housing for older persons as defined in subsection mm. of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-5).

     i.     For any person, bank, banking organization, mortgage company, insurance company or other financial institution, lender or credit institution involved in the making or purchasing of any loan or extension of credit, for whatever purpose, whether secured by residential real estate or not, including but not limited to financial assistance for the purchase, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, repair or maintenance of any real property or part or portion thereof or any agent or employee thereof:

     (1)   To discriminate against any person or group of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, familial status [or], nationality, or the height or weight of any individual, in the granting, withholding, extending, modifying, renewing, or purchasing, or in the fixing of the rates, terms, conditions or provisions of any such loan, extension of credit or financial assistance or purchase thereof or in the extension of services in connection therewith;

     (2)   To use any form of application for such loan, extension of credit or financial assistance or to make record or inquiry in connection with applications for any such loan, extension of credit or financial assistance which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, familial status [or], nationality, or because of the height or weight of any individual, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination; unless otherwise required by law or regulation to retain or use such information;

     (3)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.180).

     (4)   To discriminate against any person or group of persons because of the source of any lawful income received by the person or the source of any lawful rent payment to be paid for the real property; or

     (5)   To discriminate against any person or group of persons because that person's family includes children under 18 years of age, or to make an agreement or mortgage which provides that the agreement or mortgage shall be rendered null and void upon the birth of a child.  This paragraph shall not apply to housing for older persons as defined in subsection mm. of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-5).

     j.     For any person whose activities are included within the scope of this act to refuse to post or display such notices concerning the rights or responsibilities of persons affected by this act as the Attorney General may by regulation require.

     k.    For any real estate broker, real estate salesperson or employee or agent thereof or any other individual, corporation, partnership, or organization, for the purpose of inducing a transaction for the sale or rental of real property from which transaction such person or any of its members may benefit financially, to represent that a change has occurred or will or may occur in the composition with respect to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual, of the owners or occupants in the block, neighborhood or area in which the real property is located, and to represent, directly or indirectly, that this change will or may result in undesirable consequences in the block, neighborhood or area in which the real property is located, including, but not limited to the lowering of property values, an increase in criminal or anti-social behavior, or a decline in the quality of schools or other facilities.

     l.     For any person to refuse to buy from, sell to, lease from or to, license, contract with, or trade with, provide goods, services or information to, or otherwise do business with any other person on the basis of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability, nationality, [or] source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, or because of the height or weight of any individual, of such other person or of such other person's family members, partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers.  This subsection shall not prohibit refusals or other actions (1) pertaining to employee-employer collective bargaining, labor disputes, or unfair labor practices, or (2) made or taken in connection with a protest of unlawful discrimination or unlawful employment practices.

     m.   For any person to:

     (1)   Grant or accept any letter of credit or other document which evidences the transfer of funds or credit, or enter into any contract for the exchange of goods or services, where the letter of credit, contract, or other document contains any provisions requiring any person to discriminate against or to certify that he, she or it has not dealt with any other person on the basis of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, [or] nationality, or because of the height or weight of such other person or of such other person's family members, partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers.

     (2)   Refuse to grant or accept any letter of credit or other document which evidences the transfer of funds or credit, or refuse to enter into any contract for the exchange of goods or services, on the ground that it does not contain such a discriminatory provision or certification.

     The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any letter of credit, contract, or other document which contains any provision pertaining to employee-employer collective bargaining, a labor dispute or an unfair labor practice, or made in connection with the protest of unlawful discrimination or an unlawful employment practice, if the other provisions of such letter of credit, contract, or other document do not otherwise violate the provisions of this subsection.

     n.    For any person to aid, abet, incite, compel, coerce, or induce the doing of any act forbidden by subsections l. and m. of section 11 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12), or to attempt, or to conspire to do so. Such prohibited conduct shall include, but not be limited to:

     (1)   Buying from, selling to, leasing from or to, licensing, contracting with, trading with, providing goods, services, or information to, or otherwise doing business with any person because that person does, or agrees or attempts to do, any such act or any act prohibited by this subsection; or

     (2)   Boycotting, commercially blacklisting or refusing to buy from, sell to, lease from or to, license, contract with, provide goods, services or information to, or otherwise do business with any person because that person has not done or refuses to do any such act or any act prohibited by this subsection; provided that this subsection shall not prohibit refusals or other actions either pertaining to employee-employer collective bargaining, labor disputes, or unfair labor practices, or made or taken in connection with a protest of unlawful discrimination or unlawful employment practices.

     o.    For any multiple listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization or facility related to the business of selling or renting dwellings to deny any person access to or membership or participation in such organization, or to discriminate against such person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, familial status, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, affectional or sexual orientation, disability, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States [or] nationality, or because of the height or weight of any individual.

     p.    Nothing in the provisions of this section shall affect the ability of an employer to require employees to adhere to reasonable workplace appearance, grooming and dress standards not precluded by other provisions of State or federal law, except that an employer shall allow an employee to appear, groom and dress consistent with the employee's gender identity or expression.

     q. (1) For any employer to impose upon a person as a condition of obtaining or retaining employment, including opportunities for promotion, advancement or transfers, any terms or conditions that would require a person to violate or forego a sincerely held religious practice or religious observance, including but not limited to the observance of any particular day or days or any portion thereof as a Sabbath or other holy day in accordance with the requirements of the religion or religious belief, unless, after engaging in a bona fide effort, the employer demonstrates that it is unable to reasonably accommodate the employee's religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer's business.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an employee shall not be entitled to premium wages or premium benefits for work performed during hours to which those premium wages or premium benefits would ordinarily be applicable, if the employee is working during those hours only as an accommodation to his religious requirements. Nothing in this subsection q. shall be construed as reducing:

     (a)   The number of the hours worked by the employee which are counted towards the accruing of seniority, pension or other benefits; or

     (b)   Any premium wages or benefits provided to an employee pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

     (2)   For an employer to refuse to permit an employee to utilize leave, as provided for in this subsection q., which is solely used to accommodate the employee's sincerely held religious observance or practice.  Except where it would cause an employer to incur an undue hardship, no person shall be required to remain at his place of employment during any day or days or portion thereof that, as a requirement of his religion, he observes as his Sabbath or other holy day, including a reasonable time prior and subsequent thereto for travel between his place of employment and his home; provided that any such absence from work shall, wherever practicable in the reasonable judgment of the employer, be made up by an equivalent amount of time and work at some other mutually convenient time, or shall be charged against any leave with pay ordinarily granted, other than sick leave, and any such absence not so made up or charged, may be treated by the employer of that person as leave taken without pay.

     (3) (a) For purposes of this subsection q., "undue hardship" means an accommodation requiring unreasonable expense or difficulty, unreasonable interference with the safe or efficient operation of the workplace or a violation of a bona fide seniority system or a violation of any provision of a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.

     (b)   In determining whether the accommodation constitutes an undue hardship, the factors considered shall include:

     (i)    The identifiable cost of the accommodation, including the costs of loss of productivity and of retaining or hiring employees or transferring employees from one facility to another, in relation to the size and operating cost of the employer.

     (ii)   The number of individuals who will need the particular accommodation for a sincerely held religious observance or practice.

     (iii)  For an employer with multiple facilities, the degree to which the geographic separateness or administrative or fiscal relationship of the facilities will make the accommodation more difficult or expensive.

     (c)   An accommodation shall be considered to constitute an undue hardship if it will result in the inability of an employee to perform the essential functions of the position in which he or she is employed.

     (d)   (i) The provisions of this subsection q. shall be applicable only to reasonable accommodations of religious observances and shall not supersede any definition of undue hardship or standards for reasonable accommodation of the disabilities of employees.

     (ii)   This subsection q. shall not apply where the uniform application of terms and conditions of attendance to employees is essential to prevent undue hardship to the employer.  The burden of proof regarding the applicability of this subparagraph (d) shall be upon the employer.

     r.     For any employer to take reprisals against any employee for requesting from, discussing with, or disclosing to, any other employee or former employee of the employer, a lawyer from whom the employee seeks legal advice, or any government agency information regarding the job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation, including benefits, of the employee or any other employee or former employee of the employer, or the gender, race, ethnicity, military status, or national origin of the employee or any other employee or former employee of the employer, regardless of whether the request was responded to, or to require, as a condition of employment, any employee or prospective employee to sign a waiver, or to otherwise require an employee or prospective employee to agree, not to make those requests or disclosures.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an employee to disclose such information about the employee herself to any other employee or former employee of the employer or to any authorized representative of the other employee or former employee.

     s.     For an employer to treat, for employment-related purposes, a woman employee that the employer knows, or should know, is affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding in a manner less favorable than the treatment of other persons not affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding but similar in their ability or inability to work.  In addition, an employer of an employee who is a woman affected by pregnancy shall make available to the employee reasonable accommodation in the workplace, such as bathroom breaks, breaks for increased water intake, periodic rest, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring or modified work schedules, and temporary transfers to less strenuous or hazardous work, for needs related to the pregnancy when the employee, based on the advice of her physician, requests the accommodation, and, in the case of [a] an employee breast feeding her infant child, the accommodation shall include reasonable break time each day to the employee and a suitable room or other location with privacy, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the work area for the employee to express breast milk for the child, unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would be an undue hardship on the business operations of the employer.  The employer shall not in any way penalize the employee in terms, conditions or privileges of employment for requesting or using the accommodation. Workplace accommodation provided pursuant to this subsection and paid or unpaid leave provided to an employee affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding shall not be provided in a manner less favorable than accommodations or leave provided to other employees not affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding but similar in their ability or inability to work.  This subsection shall not be construed as otherwise increasing or decreasing any employee's rights under law to paid or unpaid leave in connection with pregnancy or breastfeeding.

     For the purposes of this section "pregnancy or breastfeeding" means pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding or expressing milk for breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, including recovery from childbirth.

     For the purposes of this subsection, in determining whether an accommodation would impose undue hardship on the operation of an employer's business, the factors to be considered include: the overall size of the employer's business with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget; the type of the employer's operations, including the composition and structure of the employer's workforce; the nature and cost of the accommodation needed, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits, tax deductions, and outside funding; and the extent to which the accommodation would involve waiver of an essential requirement of a job as opposed to a tangential or non-business necessity requirement.

     t.     For an employer to pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.  An employer who is paying a rate of compensation in violation of this subsection shall not reduce the rate of compensation of any employee in order to comply with this subsection.  An employer may pay a different rate of compensation only if the employer demonstrates that the differential is made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, or the employer demonstrates:

     (1)   That the differential is based on one or more legitimate, bona fide factors other than the characteristics of members of the protected class, such as training, education or experience, or the quantity or quality of production;

     (2)   That the factor or factors are not based on, and do not perpetuate, a differential in compensation based on sex or any other characteristic of members of a protected class;

     (3)   That each of the factors is applied reasonably;

     (4)   That one or more of the factors account for the entire wage differential; and

     (5)   That the factors are job-related with respect to the position in question and based on a legitimate business necessity.  A factor based on business necessity shall not apply if it is demonstrated that there are alternative business practices that would serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential.

     Comparisons of wage rates shall be based on wage rates in all of an employer's operations or facilities.  For the purposes of this subsection, "member of a protected class" means an employee who has one or more characteristics, including race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, [or] liability for service in the armed forces, or height or weight of any individual, for which subsection a. of this section prohibits an employer from refusing to hire or employ or barring or discharging or requiring to retire from employment or discriminating against the individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

(cf: P.L.2021, c.248, s.2)

 

     8.    Section 12 of P.L.1992, c.146 (C.10:5-12.5) is amended to read as follows:

     12. a. It shall be an unlawful discrimination for a municipality, county, or other local civil or political subdivision of the State of New Jersey, or an officer, employee, or agent thereof, to exercise the power to regulate land use or housing in a manner that discriminates on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, sex, gender identity or expression, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, nationality, [or], disability, or because of the height or weight of any individual.

     b.    The provisions of subsection a. of this section may only be enforced by initiating an action in Superior Court pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-13).  The restrictions of this subsection shall not apply to claims alleging discrimination in housing owned or managed by a municipality, county or other local civil or political subdivision of the State of New Jersey where such discrimination is otherwise prohibited by section 11 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12).

(cf: P.L.2019, c.436, s.4)

 

     9. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of height or weight under the "Law Against Discrimination" (LAD).

     Studies have documented that individuals are discriminated against for their height or weight.  Under current State law, this discrimination is permissible.  This bill is modeled after the civil rights law in Michigan, which prohibits discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and public service on the basis of height or weight, among other reasons for discrimination.  The bill provides exceptions for employment and public accommodation for bone fide occupational qualifications and safety reasons, respectively.

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