Dismissal of perceived disability claim alleging COVID-19 is a disability under the NJLAD statute.
Our defense team successfully obtained dismissal of a New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) perceived disability claim, alleging COVID-19 to be a disability under this statute. This employment discrimination claim involved a matter of first impression in New Jersey. A former employee filed suit asserting perceived disability discrimination under the NJLAD. The plaintiff alleged he was wrongfully terminated based upon his employer’s perception that he had COVID-19. We filed a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer, asserting the complaint did not set forth a cause of action as COVID-19 is not a recognized disability under the NJLAD. The court granted our motion and agreed that COVID-19 is not a disability under the NJLAD and, therefore, could not be the predicate for a perceived discrimination case.