New Jersey to Curb Job Discrimination Against Sabbath-observers

The Division of Civil Rights of the New Jersey State Department of Law and Public Safety has adopted rules to curtail discriminatory practices in private employment against Sabbath observers, its director has informed the National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs here.

The commission reported today receipt of a letter from George S. Pfaus, director of the civil rights division, which it said indicated that New Jersey would abide by the Federal Guidelines on Sabbath Observers issued by the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last July. The commission previously had requested adoption of these guidelines by the state.

“Under the New Jersey law against discrimination,” Mr. Pfaus advised the commission, “Sabbath observance is not a valid basis for refusing to hire or promote, discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee, unless the absence of the employee will result in an undue hardship to the employer.”

Dr. Marvin Schick, president of the commission, expressed gratitude to New Jersey on behalf of the Orthodox Jewish community and expressed the hope that other states would follow suit. He noted that the commission had been seeking for two years to secure protection for Sabbath observers in New York State. The commission was represented in its dealings with the New Jersey civil rights division by Meyer Pesin and Howard I. Rhine.

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