Discrimination occurs when an individual receives unfair treatment due to legally-protected characteristics. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination offers nearly the same protections guaranteed under the federal anti-discrimination laws; however, it is more extensive, more liberally interpreted, and offers much more in the way of rights and remedies for New Jersey employees. It guarantees the protection of civil liberties in places of public accommodation, employment, housing, credit and business contracts. In New Jersey, a person cannot be denied access to public institutions because they possess (or are perceived to possess) a certain trait that an owner finds undesirable. No place of public accommodation is permitted to restrict access on the basis of legally-protected characteristics or disabilities. A New Jersey employer cannot refuse to accept an application for any reason that does not pertain to the specific nature of the work presenting a conflict with their realistic ability to provide accommodations. They cannot deny training, promotions, or other employee work benefits. Employment rights are civil rights and an employee has an obligation to formally address their violation. Under the NJLAD, ignoring a complaint is considered a separate offense. The workplace must provide:
* Reasonable accommodations
* Readily-accessible facilities
* Fair and impartial treatment
* Non-hostile work environments
* Protection from retaliation
Schools funded by religious institutions are exempt from the NJLAD, as are private clubs. However, New Jersey is one of the few states where it is illegal for an exclusive establishment to discriminate against a member by limiting their advantages and privileges of membership on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, marital status, domestic partnership status, sex, or affectional or sexual orientation. Certain public institutions may not permit entrance to some individuals, depending on their disability, if it has been officially established in court of law that doing so will result in serious harm to the disabled person or others.