New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, in conjunction with the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), has issued Findings of Probable Cause in ten cases involving allegations of disability discrimination, marking a significant move against unlawful practices in housing and employment sectors.
In a pivotal action for disability rights, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the DCR have taken a firm stand against disability discrimination in New Jersey. The DCR's recent announcement reveals that ten cases across Atlantic, Essex, Middlesex, Ocean, and Union counties have shown probable cause of such discrimination in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD).
This law, crucial in upholding the rights of individuals with disabilities, mandates reasonable accommodations in employment, housing, and public spaces to ensure equal access. It particularly highlights the importance of not imposing undue hardship on people with disabilities.
Attorney General Platkin emphasized the state's dedication to eliminating barriers to equal access, stating, “As New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, one of my duties is ensuring anyone who unlawfully restricts any of our residents’ access to employment or housing on the basis of disability faces consequences.” This statement reinforces the state's commitment to upholding the LAD and protecting its citizens.
A significant number of the probable cause findings focus on housing providers denying the right to live with emotional support animals. Notably, cases involved landlords refusing accommodation for emotional support animals, including instances where a landlord withdrew a lease offer upon learning of such an animal and another denying accommodation based on the breed of the dog.
In the employment sector, one alarming case in Atlantic County involved an employee terminated after experiencing a seizure. The employer's refusal to engage in an interactive process, as required by LAD, and dismiss the employee without exploring reasonable accommodations, indicates a clear violation of the law.
These findings, while not final adjudications, signify a critical step in addressing disability discrimination. They serve as a reminder that violating the LAD can result in significant penalties, including fines up to $50,000 for multiple violations within a five-year period.
For more information on disability rights and how to file a complaint, individuals can visit the DCR's website or call their hotline (1-833-NJDCR4U or 1-833-653-2748). This enforcement action serves as a powerful message: New Jersey is committed to protecting the rights of all its citizens, particularly those with disabilities.