On Oct. 5, 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Bill A-681, amending the New
Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to provide new protections against
age discrimination for employees. Private sector employers should be aware
of two major effects of this legislation.
First, the amendments eliminated an employer’s immunity from age
discrimination claims for failing to hire applicants or promote employees
who are over the age of 70. Prior to the amendments, New Jersey employers
could refuse to hire applicants or promote workers who were over 70 years
old. With these amendments, the LAD now mirrors the federal Age
Discrimination in Employment Act. Higher education institutions should also
be aware that the amendments repealed a former LAD provision that permitted
institutions to require tenured employees to retire at age 70.
Second, the amendments expanded the remedies for employees who are forced
to retire due to their age. Now, such employees can seek any and all
available remedies under the LAD, such as front pay, emotional distress
damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Prior to the amendments,
employees who alleged they were unlawfully forced to retire because of
their age had to file a complaint with the attorney general and their
remedies were limited to reinstatement with back pay and interest.
Private employers in New Jersey should be mindful of these amendments when
making personnel decisions affecting older employees, as these amendments
significantly increase employers’ potential liability for certain claims of
For further information or questions about the LAD, or for any questions
regarding employment laws, please contact the authors, your McGuireWoods
contact, or a member of the firm’s labor and employment group.