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AG Platkin, Division on Civil Rights issue guidance on protections for remote workers

Out-of-State Remote Workers Protected Under New Jersey’s Civil Rights Law

NEW JERSEY – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) announced Tuesday that DCR has issued guidance explaining that the protections afforded by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) apply to individuals who work remotely for New Jersey-based employers, even if they work remotely from outside of New Jersey or reside in a different state.

The LAD prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, and other protected characteristics.

The new guidance, which was issued to provide greater clarity to employees and employers in light of the rise in remote work, clarifies that the LAD’s protections apply to all employees of New Jersey-based employers, regardless of the employee’s state of residence or whether some or all of their work schedule is remote.

“For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in profound changes to how we live and work. And although those changes brought questions about who is protected by New Jersey’s civil rights laws, our belief that everyone has the right work without discrimination has never wavered,” Platkin said. “No matter where you live, no matter where you work, if you’re employed by a New Jersey employer, our laws protect you from bias. The guidance announced today makes clear that New Jersey employers are obligated to follow the Law Against Discrimination, even when their employees are out of state.”

“New Jersey’s robust civil rights laws protect people who work for New Jersey companies, even if they work remotely from outside of New Jersey,” said Sundeep Iyer, Director of the Division on Civil Rights. “New Jersey employers must respect their employees’ rights, no matter where they live or work, and we will continue our work to enforce the strong protections our laws provide against workplace discrimination and bias-based harassment.”

The guidance published today explains that the LAD protects an employee’s right to a workplace free from discrimination and bias-based harassment for all employees of New Jersey employers, no matter whether the employee lives in New Jersey, commutes to work from another state, or works remotely from outside New Jersey. The guidance also explains that the LAD does not necessarily extend to individuals who live in New Jersey and who work for an employer based in another state. Where the LAD does not apply, however, federal laws and laws in other states may provide protection against discrimination.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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