The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits all employers from discriminating in employment on the basis of age (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-1 et seq.). NJLAD prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are at least 18 years old. Employers may refuse to hire or promote individuals who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 70.
Under NJLAD, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
• Refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of age with respect to an individual's compensation or terms and conditions of employment.
• Harass an employee because of his or her age.
• Retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under NJLAD.
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on age, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) (see "Exceptions" below).
For job advertisements, employers should avoid any reference to age-related statements such as “young” or “vigorous” applicants desired. In addition, application forms should not contain requests for age-related dates such as high school or college graduation dates. Instead, employers should focus on job-related degrees or training.
NJLAD provides that employers may refuse to hire applicants or promote employees who are over 70 years of age. This conflicts with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals who are at least 40 years of age, and does not have an upper age limit. Any employer subject to the federal law (i.e., those employers with 20 or more employees) must comply with the federal statute. A ...