New Jersey Employment Law Decision by State Supreme Court Examines Employer’s Duty to Reasonably Accommodate Employee With Disability Under New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
Background: Disability Discrimination and the Requirement of Reasonable Accommodation
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination bars employers from discriminating against employee’s because of a disability, provided they can perform the job with “reasonable accommodation.” Because no two employees or workplaces are the same, no accommodations will be the same for two employees, or reasonable for different employers. Thus, the regulations interpreting this requirement in the Law Against Discrimination require that employers must engage in an “interactive process” with a disabled employee to explore whether there are accommodations which the employer could implement to assist her in performing her duties without imposing an undue hardship on the employer.
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently explored these issues in the case of Richter vs. Oakland Board of Education.