Written by Ravi Sattiraju on December 31, 2018
No principle is more important in the United States than equality. Nevertheless, New Jersey workplaces are still riddled with discrimination. Only a few months ago, the news reported that New Jersey Transit, for example, has spent $12 million on discrimination settlements over the past six years. Other employers are regularly sued for discriminating in hiring, firing, and promotion, even if the lawsuits do not make the nightly news.
If you have suffered a negative employment action because of discrimination, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. At Sattiraju Law, we help employees who have suffered employment discrimination vindicate their rights, and we want to hear from you.
Identify the Discrimination
Federal and New Jersey employment law protects workers from discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics, such as:
- Race, color, or national origin
- Sex, gender, sexual orientation, or pregnancy
- Marital, domestic partnership or civil union status
- Genetic information
Negative employment actions could include being fired or laid off but are not limited to that. Instead, anything like failure to be promoted, being denied training, or denied benefits will qualify.
Harassment is also a form of discrimination. Admittedly, it is sometimes hard to determine when offensive conduct crosses over into harassment, but you are not alone. A hostile work environment where you face regular abuse, such as jokes or name calling, could be sufficiently discriminatory.
Document the Discrimination
To protect your rights, you absolutely must document the circumstances surrounding the discrimination. An employer is unlikely to admit, “Yes, I’m discriminating against you.” But hold onto emails, notes, performance evaluations, or voicemails that contain insulting or degrading language.
Also write down any instances of bigotry. Note the date and time, as well as any witnesses who can testify as to what they saw.
You should also report discrimination or harassment internally, to whatever office is charged with collecting complaints. This helps put your employer on notice that the discriminatory or harassing conduct has been happening.
Report the Harassment to Authorities
New Jersey employees can report their discrimination to the Division of Civil Rights. This agency might perform an investigation into your employer. If you work at a large company, this can be a huge benefit, protecting other employees who might also be suffering discrimination. You need to report the discrimination before you can sue, so you will protect your rights by reporting suspected discrimination promptly.
File a Lawsuit
Both New Jersey and federal law allow employees to receive compensation whey they have been victimized by discrimination. It is critical that you build your case with sufficient evidence, which can be difficult for non-attorneys to find. Because of this, you need an experienced New Jersey discrimination lawyer to represent you.
We are a leading New Jersey employment discrimination firm, which has handled numerous complaints against employers. For more information, please contact us today. At an initial consultation, we can discuss your options and whether you have a valid legal case. Call today, 609-216-7817.