On August 8, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed into law an amendment to the New Jersey law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) that provides additional protection to members of the United States military. The amendment went into effect immediately.
Prior to the amendment, the LAD included “liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States” as a legally protected category, but only in the context of employment and entering into contracts. The LAD defines “liability for service in the Armed Forces” to mean being subject to being: (1) ordered into “active service in the Armed Forces of the United States by reason of membership in the National Guard, naval militia or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States,” or (2) “inducted into such armed forces through a system of national selective service.”
Among other changes, under the new amendment the LAD now prohibits discrimination to this category of members of the Armed Services in the context of housing, making loans and providing access to places of public accommodation. Places of public accommodations are places that are generally accessible to members of the public such as restaurants, hotels, stores, parks, hospitals, theaters, colleges and universities.