TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today that the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has adopted new and amended rules, and created new posters, designed to promote greater public awareness of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA). The rules increase the visibility and effectiveness of DCR posters that employers, businesses, and places of public accommodation are required to display.
The new and amended rules update DCR’s longstanding poster regulations that require employers, housing providers, real estate brokers, and places of public accommodation to conspicuously display posters created by the Division to inform individuals and covered entities of their rights and obligations under the LAD and NJFLA.
Among other changes, the rules impose specific poster requirements for health care facilities, which are now required to conspicuously display facility-specific “Know Your Rights” posters to ensure that patients, visitors, and staff know that they have the right to be free from discrimination in health care.
“We are proud in New Jersey to have some of the strongest civil rights laws in the nation,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “But it is also critical that New Jersey residents understand the vital protections these laws afford. I commend the Division on Civil Rights for adopting new rules to ensure that New Jerseyans know their rights under our civil rights laws.”
Along with the new and amended rules, DCR launched an updated set of posters that all employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodation are required to display.
These include a new employment poster, NJFLA poster, housing property management poster, housing sales and rental poster, public accommodations poster, and “Know Your Rights” posters for pre-natal and post-natal facilities, mental health facilities, emergency and trauma facilities, long- and short-term care facilities, alternative treatment centers, and professionally licensed facilities, which include doctors’ and dentists’ offices, pharmacies, and more.
To raise awareness and educate the public, DCR is also launching a “Know Your Civil Rights” social media campaign encouraging employers, businesses owners, and the public to post photos of the required posters when they see them being displayed, using the hashtag #CivilRightsNJ and tagging the Division’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
“DCR’s goal as the State’s civil rights agency is to ensure that the public understands their rights and that employers, housing providers, and places open to the pubic understand their obligations under the LAD and NJFLA,” said Division on Civil Rights Deputy Director, Rosemary DiSavino. “These posters are required in places where, sadly, many people still face discrimination. The message and knowledge from these posters will empower people to report discrimination to DCR and allow us to respond to these allegations.”
The new rules are designed to increase the public’s awareness of their rights under the LAD and NJFLA. The LAD prohibits discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation on the basis of a number of protected characteristics, including race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, and age, among others.
The NJFLA ensures that employees who have been employed for at least one year for state and local government agencies or for employers with 30 or more employees worldwide and have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past 12 months may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave during any 24-month period to care for or bond with a newborn, foster, or adopted child; to care for a family member with a serious health condition like COVID-19; or in other specific circumstances.
Among other changes, the new poster rules address the complexities of the virtual workspace and the fact that workers are conducting business in places other than an employer’s worksite. As such, the rules allow employers with internet or intranet sites used by their employees to satisfy their poster display obligations by posting DCR’s official LAD and NJFLA posters on those sites, in lieu of posting them in the physical worksite.
This will allow employees working remotely to view online versions of the same poster materials that they would view in a traditional workplace setting. This will help ensure that all employees, no matter where they work, understand their civil rights and the protections afforded to them under existing law.
The newly adopted poster rules also more clearly delineate the reach of DCR’s poster rules governing housing. The previous rules applied to all real estate brokers and all persons engaged in the business of selling or renting their own real property. The amended rules make plain that DCR’s poster requirements also apply to persons engaged in the management of residential real property—including, but not limited to, landlords, property management companies, and cooperative and condominium associations.
DCR has also created and made available one type of poster to be displayed by housing providers who sell or rent property, and a separate poster to be displayed by housing providers engaged in property management.
The new rules allow entities engaged in property management to fulfill their poster display obligations by publishing DCR posters on an internet site or intranet site used by all residents of the properties they manage, in lieu of providing written copies of the posters to the residents of each property.
The rules also include changes to DCR’s poster requirements for places of public accommodation. Under the adopted rules, DCR has created category-specific “Know Your Rights” posters for health care entities that provide health care services. Such entities must prominently display the applicable poster in places that are easily accessible to all patients or potential patients. This includes, but is not limited to, a location near each entrance through which the public can enter or exit, and all public waiting rooms. These facilities may also choose to display the posters in other locations, including individual treatment rooms or on a digitally accessible platform code (for example, a QR Code) posted in plain view around the facility.
DCR’s requirement that site-specific posters be displayed in health care settings is aimed at addressing the State’s serious “racial, ethnic and national-origin-based disparities in health care and medical treatment.”
All employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodation are required by law to display the new posters. Any employer, housing provider or place of public accommodation that is currently displaying prior versions of the posters should remove them and replace them with the updated posters, which can be found here. The Division will translate the required posters into various languages and make them available on their website or for pick-up in their four regional offices.
DCR is the state agency responsible for preventing and eliminating discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (e.g., places open to the public like schools, businesses, hospitals, etc.) by enforcing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), and the Fair Chance in Housing Act (FCHA).
People who believe their rights under the LAD, NJFLA, or FCHA have been violated can file a complaint with DCR by visiting njcivilrights.gov calling 1-833-NJDCR4U (833-653-2748), call the Relay Service at 711, or emailing NJDCR4U@njcivilrights.gov.