Employment Law

Protecting Persons From Unlawful Housing Discrimination

New Jersey’s fair housing laws for persons with disabilities are among the strongest in the nation.  The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et seq., has been recognized as being one of the most powerful anti-discrimination statutes in the country.  Another State act, the Uniform Construction Code Act [UCCA], also provides broad protection for persons with disabilities.  The UCCA requires the NJ Dept. of Community Affairs to establish general construction standards for all types of buildings, including residential units.  Among the most significant protections of this act is the mandate that the Dept. adopt a “barrier free subcode” to make sure that buildings are accessible to persons with physical disabilities.  NJ’s Barrier-free Subcode [“Subcode:”] covers “[m]ulti-family residential buildings with four or more dwelling units in a single structure.”  N.J.S.A. 52:27D-123b(5).

The Subcode requires architects and developers to make sure that all new housing construction includes accessible public spaces and routes of travel into the residential units. New housing construction must also have individual units that have adaptable elements, such as kitchen counters, sinks, and grab bars, that can be readily modified for individual needs. The Subcode also requires that local construction officials enforce it.  The provisions of the LAD establish the right of persons with disabilities to sue when the Subcode is violated.

The Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (“FHAA”), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et. seq., provides protection against discrimination on the basis of disability in housing.  The following discriminatory behaviors are unlawful under the FHAA:

Sign Up for E-News

• discrimination in the sale or rental of dwellings, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling;

• indicating that a dwelling is not available when the dwelling is, in fact, available;

• discrimination in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling;

• discrimination in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the rental or sale of a dwelling;

• prompting a person to sell or rent by indicating that a person with a disability is entering or will enter the neighborhood;

• publishing any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination;

• refusing to permit a person to make reasonable modifications to a dwelling where such modifications are necessary to afford that person full enjoyment of the premises;

• refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services that would be necessary to afford a person with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; and,

• a landlord or seller asking about a tenant’s or applicant’s disability, unless the landlord or seller is providing housing designed for occupancy by persons with disabilities or for persons with a particular type of disability, and the questions relate to that applicant’s eligibility for the housing.

The FHAA applies to all residential units in buildings with five or more units.  The sale or rental of a single-family house is covered by the FHAA unless the owner owns less than four single-family dwellings, and does not advertise or use a broker to sell or rent the house.

NJ State law also prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of disability. The LAD; Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-66.1; Handicapped Access Law, N.J.S.A. 52:32-4, et seq.; and the Subcode, N.J.A.C. 5:23-7.1, et seq., all contain provisions that protect persons with disabilities against housing discrimination. These State laws are similar, but not identical, to the Federal FHAA. In some instances, NJ State law may cover housing units not reached by the FHAA, and/or bestows greater rights against discrimination than Federal law.

You can file a housing discrimination complaint with both Federal (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)) and State (NJ Division on Civil Rights) agencies.  You can also choose to file a State court action, rather than going through government agencies.  To file with HUD, call 1-800-669-9777 or TTY: 1-800-927-9275 or visit the agency’s website for an online complaint form.  You have one (1) year from the date of the act(s) of discrimination in which to file a complaint with HUD.  You can reach the Division on Civil Rights by calling any of the following local offices: Trenton Regional Office, 609-292-4605, TTY: 609-292-1785; Newark Office, 973-648-2700, TTY: 973-648-4678; Camden Office, 856-614-2550, TTY: 609-441-3100; or Atlantic City Office, 609-441-3100, TTY: 609-441-7648.  You only have one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of the acts of discrimination in which to file a complaint with the NJ Division on Civil Rights. You can also retain an experienced disability discrimination attorney to represent you in Federal or State court.  If you choose to exercise your right to a jury trial, you can file a court action within two (2) years from the date of the act(s) of discrimination in which to file the complaint.

Whether you are an employer looking for assistance with employment law issues, or an employee who feels unfairly treated, Fred Shahrooz Scampato can provide you with the benefit of his over twenty years experience in employment law. His goal is to prevent workplace problems from becoming costly litigation. He can be reached at Scampato@aol.com, Scampato@njlaborlaw.com or 908-301-9095. Visit his website at www.njlaborlaw.com.
 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Police Identify Two Involved in Roselle Park High School Threats

October 21, 2017

ROSELLE PARK, NJ —  Roselle Park Police say that they have responded to four separate instances of purported threats to the Roselle Park High School in the past two weeks. 

According to Lt. Manuel Jimenez, "Detectives have positively identified two of the people involved and appropriate charges have been filed. There are two incidents that are currently still under active ...

Lacey Rzeszowski's Grace, Power, Grit and Determination -- A Winning Formula

October 21, 2017

As the Co-Founder of The North Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and its Executive Director for more 15 years, a current board member of Trinitas Hospital Foundation, a 30-year breast cancer survivor, and a neighbor to many of you, I am writing to ask for your vote for Lacey Rzeszowski to represent the communities of the 21st Legislative District in the state assembly. 

Not ...

Enhancing Our Parks, Recreational Facilities and Public Spaces

October 19, 2017

In my prior candidate statements, I let you know that over the coming weeks, I would remind residents of all the components of my platform. (You can also read the entire Platform online at www.andy2017.com). 

This week, let’s talk about our public spaces. The opportunity to engage in recreational activities, as well as enjoy the outdoors, is essential to a satisfying ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, October 23, 7:30 PM

First Congregational Church , Westfield

Faith & The Front Page

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_0a79fbeb43aa83318911_davidweinstein2

Tue, October 24, 8:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Cybersecurity: You Are at Risk

Business & Finance Education Government

Carousel_image_e70f2bef3b98f65754a6_tap_building

Tue, October 24, 7:00 PM

Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Community Calendar Government

College Counseling Events Guide Students at Wardlaw + Hartridge

October 21, 2017

The College Counseling Office at The Wardlaw + Hartridge School in Edison hosted two informative programs recently to assist Upper School students and parents with the admission process.

On Oct. 12, the Jump Start to College Program for freshmen, new sophomores and their parents provided an early glimpse of the college process. Attendees learned about what colleges are looking for in a ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Businesses Report Thefts & More

October 18, 2017

October 11, 2017 3:55 p.m.

A resident of Kent Place reported being the victim of a fraud. Victim reported that an unknown suspect(s) made a purchase of approximately $1,927.68 worth of merchandise and charged it to her credit card. Victim stated she was notified via email.

 

October 12, 2017 2:43 p.m.

Timothy J. Kane, age 34, of Middleton, NJ, responded to WPD to satisfy two ...

New Rate for Business Travel

If you or your employees are planning on traveling for business, you'll want to know that there are new per-diem rates for certain expenses, which are in effect from Oct. 1 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018.

 

New rates includes expenses for transportation industry meals and incidental expenses rates, among others.

 

What you need to know.

Parakeet Lost in Westfield

Yellow parakeet flew off Wednesday in in the area of Dudley Court, Bradford and Mountain Avenue. If you see him, call 908-444-2986.

Tips Make Your Home Photo-Ready and Market-Worthy

You’re selling your home, or you’re starting to think about it, but your house hasn’t been updated or painted in years. You want it to look its best before presenting it to prospective buyers, but you don’t know where to begin.

Home Staging Tips
Sprucing up your home can be as simple as adding a new coat of paint, inside and out, or as extensive as interior renovation ...

Butterflies are Free at Tamaques Elementary School

Hundreds of monarch butterflies are making their way to Mexico this month thanks to the care of first grade students and their fifth grade buddies in Westfield’s Tamaques Elementary School. More than 200 butterflies raised by the students were tagged and released with the hope that they will return next year to feast on the special garden created for their development.

The life cycle of ...

Establishing, Revising And Enforcing Time-Sharing With Children

In all cases of divorce or separation where children are involved, the issue of time-sharing (previously referred to as “visitation”) is a significant issue to be addressed.  Unless the parents have agreed to an equal shared custodial arrangement, an appropriate schedule of time-sharing is particularly important for all those involved: the custodial parent, the non-custodial ...

Saving for Higher Education Part 2 – What is your savings strategy?

Most people want to save for their children’s education but what is the best strategy? 

There are three different savings strategies from which you can choose: 

1)         save for 100% of all education costs so that your child has no liability

2)         save a specific dollar amount and ...

Family Health

Second Opinion on Breast Cancer Program Offers Peace of Mind

A breast cancer diagnosis can change a person’s life. And during such devastating news, the sheer amount of information regarding treatment and follow-up care can quickly become overwhelming. However, patients are not alone in this fight. Atlantic Health System’s Breast Cancer Second Opinion Program at Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Overlook Medical Center, is helping provide peace of ...

Westfield Area YMCA Announces Fall 2 Session Registration

Registration for the Westfield Area YMCA Fall 2 session program registration begins at 6:00pm on Thursday, Oct. 12 for Full members and at 7:30 a.m., Monday Oct.16 for Basic and Non-Members. The Fall 2 Session runs from Oct. 29 to Dec. 23.

Youth basketball league season is gearing up at the Y with a 3-week pre-season ...

What is Co-Dependency? Learn How to Establish Healthy Boundaries

October 15, 2017

JOIN OUR NEW GROUP

Mondays October 23 at 6:30 or Wednesday’s October 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Codependence is a false attachment to a person, place or thing. It becomes a false sense of importance. It is a learned behavior to take care of others’ needs at the expense of our own. It is driven by the excessive need for others’ approval.  Rather than being ...

Paying tribute to 'Shakespeare in Love'

Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey pays tribute to ‘Shakespeare in Love’

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ – Many audiences loved the film version of “Shakespeare in Love,” which won the best picture Academy Award in 1999, with dialogue by Marc Noonan and Tom Stoppard. Adapted by Lee Hall for the stage, much of the dialogue remains. The production has a warmth and ...

Obituaries

Oct 24, 1926 - Aug 14, 2017
Elizabeth H. List, 90, of Westfield and Cape May, NJ, died peacefully surrounded by her family ...
Read more

Video: Firefighters Battle Five-Alarm Blaze in North Plainfield

October 17, 2017

NORTH PLAINFIELD — Firefighters continue to battle a five-alarm fire that began in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the vacant Villa Maria facility at 641 Somerset Street. At 10 a.m. the fire was still burning and fire companies were being rotated, continuing to operate by hitting hot spots of active fire, authorities said.

Somerset Street South was closed and ...