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Supreme Court Addresses Standard For Religion Based Hostile Work Environment Claims.

In this much anticipated case, the Supreme Court for the first time addressed the test for establishing a case of hostile work environment based upon religion and ancestry. The Court held that the previously-developed standard set forth in Lehmann v. Toys R Us for evaluating sexual harassment claims applies to hostile work environment claims generally, and a claimant asserting harassment based on religion and ancestry bears no heavier burden than any other claimant.

New Jersey Enacts Broad Religious Accommodation Law.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") was amended effective January 13, 2008, to expressly provide that employers must reasonably accommodate applicants' and employees' sincerely held religious beliefs - such as allowing time off to observe the Sabbath or other holy days - unless to do so would impose an undue burden. Although the LAD has long prohibited discrimination on the basis of religion, the new amendments establish an affirmative duty of reasonable accommodation not previously recognized under state law. Indeed, the newly-enacted reasonable accommodation obligations appear to greatly exceed employers' existing obligations under federal law.
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