A New Jersey law (formerly S.B. 1123) will protect employees from intimidation over religious and political matters. The law makes it illegal for employers to require that workers attend meetings or participate in communication about political or religious issues. The law is intended to combat the practice of holding mandatory meetings to discuss religion or express support for a political candidate or point of view. The law also protects employees from retaliation if they raise concerns about activity that might violate the law.
Employers may continue to hold captive-audience meetings to express their views on unions. Also, religious and political groups are exempted under the law so long as the meetings or communication pertains to the regular work of the organization.
Violators are liable for civil fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense and up to $5,000 for subsequent offenses. Employees can get restraining orders against violating companies as well as reinstatement, lost wages, and punitive damages.