On August 7, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law S726 revising the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The new law enhances the NJLAD's pre-existing protection for military personnel and veterans, and the New Jersey Senate described it as extending "full protection of the [NJLAD] to persons having liability for service in the Armed Forces of [the] United States; [and guaranteeing] equal employment opportunity in State contracting to all veterans."
Under the prior version of the NJLAD, those who served in the armed forces were protected by some provisions of the law, but not all. As amended, the law now makes clear military personnel "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."
S726 also mandates that contractors and subcontractors on state projects guarantee equal employment opportunity to all veterans. This requirement previously applied only to Vietnam veterans.
The new law takes effect immediately. Accordingly, New Jersey employers must familiarize themselves with S726's requirements and ensure their hiring policies and practices are updated accordingly.