Thanks to Assembly Bill 681, as of October 5, 2021, you cannot be denied employment based solely on your age. This important bill eliminated a provision of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) that permitted companies with fewer than 20 employees to refuse to hire or promote anyone over the age of 70. This legislation is important because more seniors than ever are working—both out of desire and necessity. Here’s what you need to know about protection from age discrimination when looking for a job in New Jersey.
What the Legislation Means
While the new law impacts smaller employers the most, it also helps people hold larger companies accountable for age discrimination. Companies with fewer than 20 employees are subject to the anti-discrimination laws spelled out in the LAD. Previously, that law only applied to workers under the age of 70. Bill 681 removes the LAD’s upper age limit so all workers, regardless of age, are protected from age discrimination in hiring and promotions.
Companies with 20 or more employees, however, are subject to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which does not have an upper age limit, so the law did not change significantly for larger companies. Bill 681 does expand the damages that are available to aggrieved workers over the age of 70.
Other Key Aspects of Assembly Bill 681
- Imposing a higher standard for setting mandatory retirement ages for certain government employees
- Expanding remedies available to employees who believe they were wrongly forced to retire
As with other forms of anti-discrimination laws, an employer still has a right to not hire or promote you even if you are over 70, but they must be able to provide valid reasons for their decision that do not involve your age. If you believe you were wrongfully denied employment or a promotion because of your age, it’s important that you talk to an employment lawyer as soon as possible. New Jersey offers some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, but you will need legal guidance to protect your rights.
Are You a Working Senior? Protect Your Rights With Our Help
If you are one of the many Americans who did not retire at age 65—either because you choose to keep working or because you don’t have enough retirement savings to support yourself—you might have to be extra vigilant to protect yourself from employment age discrimination. If you have questions about your rights as an older worker in New Jersey, contact Attorney Frank Steinberg online or by calling 908-685-0600. We are standing by to help!