TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Joseph Coniglio that would help protect New Jersey workers from intimidation by their employers on the basis of political or religious views received final legislative approval today from the Assembly.
“The workplace should be free from religious and political influence – people should be hired based on their skills not their political and religious contacts,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “This bill would allow workers to concentrate on their jobs and not worry about being fired or chastised because they choose not to conform to their boss’ political and religious views.”
Senator Coniglio’s bill, S-1123, would prohibit employers from requiring employees to attend employer-sponsored meetings to communicate about workers’ religious or political views.
Employers found violating the bill would face penalties of up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000 for subsequent offenses. Workers could not be demoted or forced to give up benefits because of political or religious views and would be compensated for any legal fees incurred because of employer intimidation.
Under the bill, political measures would be defined as a worker’s political party affiliation or a decision to join or not to join in any lawful political or social organization or activity.
This measure was approved by the Senate on February 27. It now heads to the Governor’s desk where his signature would make it State law.