What happens when you’ve been discriminated against at work? Do you lie back and let your employer mistreat you? Many hard workers are afraid to stand up for themselves because they don’t want to let their families down. They don’t want to rock the boat or risk losing their job. Our New Jersey lawyers want you to know, with our help, you can fight back against discrimination in the workplace.
The New Jersey law firm of Aiello Harris Abate, Law Group PC knows that you should be judged at work solely based on your qualifications and skills. When that is not the case, let our attorneys help you pursue legal action – and compensation for your troubles.
What is the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-12) (LAD) is designed to create an equal environment for people to work in. In conjunction with federal laws, the LAD protects workers from being fired or treated differently at work due to a protected trait or being a member of a protected class.
The LAD makes it unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on:
- National origin & Nationality
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- Marital status
- Domestic partnership or civil union status
- Affectional or sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait
- Genetic information
- Liability for military service
- Mental or physical disability
- Perceived disability
- AIDS and HIV status.
Under the LAD, an employer or other employee cannot intentionally discriminate against a worker based on the above characteristics.
When does the LAD apply?
According to the NJLAD, discrimination is prohibited during in the recruitment, interviewing, hiring, promotions, discharge, compensation and the terms, conditions and privileges of employment. An employee cannot be retaliated against for exercising his or her rights under the LAD, or participating in a discrimination case.
If an employee is being harassed due to their protected trait or class, and the employer does nothing to stop it, the employer may be guilty of allowing a hostile work environment – which is unlawful according to the LAD.
To whom does the LAD apply?
All employees – excluding federal employees – are covered under the LAD, regardless of size. Independent contractors are generally not considered employees and are not covered by the Law Against Discrimination.
Examples of employment discrimination
Since so many protected classes are protected by the LAD, there are countless ways you can be discriminated against at work. Here are some specific examples:
- Being fired after telling your employer you were pregnant
- Being denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability
- Being called a “faggot” or “homo” for being homosexual
- Being fired as an older member of the workforce and replaced by a much younger applicant
- Being harassed for being a member of the minority race
A New Jersey discrimination attorney at Aiello Harris Abate, Law Group PC can review your specific circumstances and determine if discrimination has occurred.
Building your discrimination case
If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, act fast. The NJLAD has a two year statute of limitations. In general, you have to pursue legal recourse within two years of the discriminatory act.
To prove your discrimination case under the NJLAD, you must show that:
- The employee is in a protected class (age, religion, gender, disability, etc.).
- That the employee was working up to the legitimate expectations of their employer.
- The employee suffered adverse job action (suspended, demoted, terminated).
- The employee was replaced by an individual not in the protected class of the employee or that the adverse employment action was directly related to the employee’s protected status (for example, gender or disability).
Contact our NJLAD Lawyers today
Be sure to keep all evidence relevant to your case. This includes emails, messages, personnel files, and a record of all the instances of discrimination. Our New Jersey employment lawyers are here to help
To learn more, arrange a free initial consultation with a discrimination attorney at Aiello, Harris, Abate. With 11 offices, we serve clients throughout New Jersey. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online.