“Gig Economy” Worker Violated the Law Against Discrimination by Excluding Jewish Customers
DCR reviewed several online publications in which Francis stated that he would not serve Jewish patrons. In October 2023, Francis posted an advertisement for services on TaskRabbit that read, in part, “I am currently not offering my services to the Jewish Community.” In later postings on LinkedIn, Francis reiterated that he would not serve Jewish customers.
“Anyone who discriminates against others based on religion, national origin, ancestry, or race is breaking the law in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Platkin. “There is no justification for denying services to members of the public based on antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other kind of discrimination, and we are committed to holding anyone who engages in discriminatory practices accountable.”
“Our laws don’t mince words: Places of public accommodation cannot discriminate against our residents, including by denying them service or treating them differently, on the basis of religion, national origin, ancestry, race, or any other protected characteristic,” said Sundeep Iyer, Director of the Division on Civil Rights. “As antisemitic and anti-Muslim acts of hate and bias continue to rise across our state, make no mistake: We will take enforcement action swiftly to ensure that the civil rights of all of our residents, including our Jewish and Muslim residents, are protected.”
The LAD prohibits places of public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of real or perceived protected characteristics, including religion, national origin, ancestry, and race. The LAD also makes it unlawful for places of public accommodation to display or post any communication or notice indicating that any of their offerings are unavailable based on such protected characteristics. The LAD further prohibits persons from refusing to provide services or otherwise doing business with any person on the basis of such characteristics.
The Notice of Violation requires Francis to meet the following conditions:
- Cease and Desist from posting communications that express limitations on services on the basis of protected characteristics;
- Cease and Desist from discriminating against patrons;
- Adopt a written policy pertaining to nondiscrimination, including nondiscrimination against Jewish patrons, consistent with the LAD;
- Publish a nondiscrimination statement on the bottom of all advertisements posted online for the next year and affirmatively provide copies of all advertisements for the next year;
- Publish communications stating that he will provide services in accordance with the LAD on all active platforms where he previously posted communications limiting the availability of services to Jewish patrons;
- Attend a training on anti-Semitism conducted by a trainer that DCR deems acceptable;
- Attend all of the following trainings offered by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
- The NJ Law Against Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation;
- Understanding Implicit Bias;
- Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions; and
- Remit a payment in lieu of penalty to the Division on Civil Rights.
To view a fact sheet on religious discrimination and individuals’ rights in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation under the LAD, please visit https://www.njoag.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/fact_RD.pdf. Individuals who believe their rights under the LAD have been violated can file a complaint with DCR by visiting https://bias.njcivilrights.gov/ or calling 1-833-NJDCR4U (833-653-2748).
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and the Fair Chance in Housing Act, and works to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey.
To find out more information, go to www.njcivilrights.gov.