Workplaces should be free of discrimination and harassment. Unfortunately, many companies large and small continue to practice discrimination. This is an outrage that should not be tolerated.
Fortunately, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination provides ample protections to workers who are discriminated against or harassed because of a protected characteristic. Contact our law firm today to discuss bringing a discrimination charge against an employer.
Protection Against Discrimination or Harassment
Our state law prohibits employers from taking a negative employment action because of a person’s protected characteristic. These actions can relate to hiring, firing, termination, promotion, pay, benefits, training opportunities, failing to accommodate disabilities and pregnancy, and other similar actions.
The law also protects against harassment based on a protected characteristic. Harassment exists whenever a workplace becomes oppressive, intimidating, or threatening due to the actions and/or words of coworkers and others. Sexual harassment can also occur when an employer requests sex in exchange for some employment action, such as a promotion or pay raise, or engages in sexual touchings or the use of sexually charged language. The law also protects you from retaliation if you complain about discrimination or harassment.
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination protects the following characteristics:
- Affectional or sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Gender, gender identity and gender expression
- Nationality and national origin
- Genetic information
- Marital or civil union/domestic partnership status
- Atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait
- Military service
Filing a Discrimination Charge
In most cases, filing a verified complaint with a government administrative agency is the first step. The agency is given a chance to investigate and propose a solution. In many cases, individual workers must file their own lawsuit, but they still need to file an administrative complaint first.
In New Jersey, our state’s Division on Civil Rights handles discrimination complaints. Our lawyers have vast experience filing these charges and negotiating a settlement, if possible. We can also file a lawsuit directly in court.
If successful, our clients have received compensation in the form of backpay, front pay, lost benefits, compensatory damages, emotional distress damages, and other relief. Many of our clients also receive reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs, which makes bringing a legal claim the sensible option.
Signs You Have Been Discriminated Against
It is not always easy to determine whether an employer has discriminated against you. At our firm, we encourage workers to analyze the following:
- Has a boss or other employee made insensitive comments about your race, age, sex, etc.? Did you complain, and what did Human Resources do?
- Were you passed over for a promotion even though you believe you were most qualified?
- Have your performance reviews gotten worse for no real reason?
- Has the company engaged in layoffs? Were most of those laid off members of a protected class?
- Has the company adopted an allegedly neutral rule that affects one group of people more than another? For example, a sudden requirement that workers lift 50 pounds could act to discriminate against women.
Discrimination is often hidden, but we can ferret out the information necessary to prove a case.
Speak with an Elizabeth, NJ Discrimination Lawyer
At Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP, our lawyers can do the investigative work necessary to bring a claim for compensation and other damages. We have brought many successful claims, including for hostile work environments. Call us to schedule an initial consultation.