AG: ‘COVID-19 is no excuse for racism;’ issues new guidance on discrimination

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New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued new guidance Thursday to address the rights of New Jerseyans who may experience bias due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 is no excuse for racism, xenophobia or hate,” Grewal said in a statement. “Discrimination and harassment …remains illegal even if it occurs against the backdrop of a global pandemic.”

The guidance comes after several media reports of Asian Americans being harassed during the pandemic. Even President Donald Trump has been criticized for referring to the illness as the “Chinese Virus.” COVID-19 was first discovered in December 2019 in China.

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Grewal’s new guidance also includes information on job-protected leave for “individuals caring for family members affected by COVID-19,” or those who have contracted the illness themselves.

Grewal says that employees cannot be fired for exhibiting possible coronavirus symptoms.

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