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Revision to NJ Law Gives Protection to Workers 70 and Older

Revision to NJ Law Gives Protection to Workers 70 and Older

It has long been the case that employees who reach a certain age may legally be denied employment or job promotions and, in some cases, be forced to retire. However, in New Jersey, that changed in 2021.

The state’s Law Against Discrimination has long prohibited age discrimination, but workers 70 years of age and older did not benefit from this protection. Employers were allowed to deny jobs or promotions to individuals who had reached their 70th birthday. Likewise, institutions of higher learning were permitted to force tenured employees into retirement at that age.

An act amending the law signed by Governor Phil Murphy on October 5, 2021 eliminates these exceptions. The statute declares that almost all employees working for private employers (other than domestic workers, who are not covered by the Law Against Discrimination) cannot be pushed out of a job or denied an employment opportunity due to their age.

In addition, the newly enacted provision bars any state or local government employees, with the exception of members of police and fire departments and certain judges, from being forced to retire, unless the public employer can show that the employee is unable to perform their duties. Previously, New Jersey law allowed a public employer to force its employees to retire at a particular age if it could show that the retirement age bore a “manifest relationship to the employment in question.”

Finally, the revised law expands the remedies available to employees forced into retirement in violation of the Law Against Discrimination. Previously, the only remedy was reinstatement with back pay, whether the employee worked for the state, a local government or a private employer. Now, employees of private employers may also sue in court for any damages authorized by law, including reasonable attorney fees and legal costs.

If you suspect that you might be the victim of unlawful age discrimination or any other kind of job-related biased treatment in New Jersey, you can consult with a knowledgeable and skilled employment discrimination attorney at Deutsch, Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. We are located in Hackensack and can be reached by contacting us online or calling us at 551-245-8894.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Retired

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict…

Diane  Englander  Peyser Attorney Photo
Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination,…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey
Attorney

About Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA),…

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