New Jersey Religious Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Religious Discrimination: What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination in employment because of “creed” (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-12). The law applies to all public and private employers, regardless of size.
The law also prohibits employers from imposing any employment condition that requires an individual to forgo a "sincerely held religious practice or religious observance," such as observing the Sabbath or other holy day. An employer must make a "bona fide effort" to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs.
In addition to protecting employees who are, or who are perceived to be, members of a particular religion or belief, the law protects nonbelievers and those associated with a person of a particular religion. For example, it is unlawful to harass an employee based on his or her marriage to a Muslim. Under the law, it is an unlawful employment practice to:
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• Refuse to hire, or discharge, or otherwise discriminate with respect to an individual's compensation or terms or conditions of employment because of creed.
• Retaliate against any individual who has made a complaint or assisted in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the state law.
• Publish an advertisement for employment indicating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on creed, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).
• Aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce an individual to violate the law, or to attempt to do so.
Exception. Under the law, religious associations or organizations may use religious affiliation as a qualification for employment of clergy, religious teachers, or other employees engaged in religious activities, or to follow religious tenets in establishing criteria for ...

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