Lindabury’s Labor and Employment Law partner, John H. Schmidt, was interviewed by New Jersey Business Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Anthony Birritteri for the article published in the May 2017 issue. Their discussion focused on the fine lines of major issues employers face regarding diversity and discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring process.
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) is among the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country and according to John Schmidt, “The New Jersey LAD is much broader than the provisions of Title VII because the latter deals with race and sexual discrimination. On the federal level, there is a separate statute for disability discrimination, as an example. In fact, since the mid-to-late 1980’s, most plaintiff attorneys have decided it is to their advantage to bring claims under the NJLAD”
Most companies claim they are equal opportunity employers and have been recognized by the top diversity lists. John Schmidt cautions; “If you select a particular class of individuals [a certain minority group] to hire – giving preference to them- you could be in violation of the NJLAD and federal laws.”
Should a company desire to create a more diverse workforce it may post job advertisements online or in print publications geared toward certain groups. “That is legal, but you can’t mention in the ad that you are looking to hire a specific ethnic or racial class or gender,” says John Schmidt.
If you have questions about your company’s hiring practices and or procedures, you can contact John or any other member of Lindabury’s employment law team.