The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of national origin (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-12). The law applies to all employers. Employment practices that affect immigrants who are legally eligible to work may constitute discrimination on the basis of national origin. However, an employer may restrict employment to citizens of the United States if the restriction is required by federal law or is otherwise necessary to protect the national interest (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-12(a)).
Citizenship requirements that are made a condition of employment discriminate on the basis of national origin in violation of the state law. Inquiries about a person's citizenship or country of birth are unlawful and imply discrimination on the basis of national origin. Employers are required to verify the legal status and right to work of all new hires. To satisfy verification requirements, employers should ask all new hires for documents establishing both identity and work authorization.