Rights of Employees
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Employment Discrimination
New Jersey law prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees. But what exactly does that mean?
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about New Jersey employment discrimination law.
- I Have Been Treated Differently Than My Peers at Work. Do I Have a Discrimination Claim?
- What Are the Legally Protected Categories Under New Jersey Law?
- What Types of Actions Taken Against Me at Work Can Be Legally Actionable as Discrimination?
- What Is Harassment?
- When Is Harassment Unlawful?
- What Is Sexual Harassment?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Discrimination or Harassment Lawsuit?
- What Types of Damages Can I Recover if I Win an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit?
- What Should I do if I Have Been the Victim of Discrimination at My Job?
- How Can I Contact Your Employment Law Firm?
Not necessarily. Under New Jersey law, discrimination is actionable only if it is based on your membership in a legally protected category. As a result, things like nepotism and favoritism toward long-term employees and paramours are not necessarily unlawful.
Those categories include age, race, color, national origin, disability, gender (or sex), pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion (creed), ancestry, and marital status.
New Jersey law prohibits employers from taking a variety of adverse employment actions against employees because of their membership in a legally-protected category. Adverse employment actions include termination, constructive discharge, demotion, suspension, failure to hire, failure to promote, and pay discrimination, as well as harassment.
Typically, harassment occurs when an employer takes other negative actions against an employee, such as joking, teasing, insulting, assigning undesirable tasks, isolating, or ignoring him or her.
Just like any other form of discrimination, to be actionable under New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), the harassment has to occur because you are a member of a legally-protected class. In addition, the harassment has to be severe (really bad) or pervasive (really frequent) enough that it has, in effect, changed the terms or conditions of your employment.
Sexual harassment is just another name for harassment because of gender. While it often is sexual in nature, other forms of gender-based harassment can be legally actionable.
The statute of limitations under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is two years from the date of the adverse employment action, or in the case of harassment from the date of the last act of the pattern of harassment. If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, it is extremely unlikely you will be able to pursue your case.
Under New Jersey employment discrimination law, you potentially can recover damages for past and future lost wages (back pay and front pay), emotional distress, physical distress and pain and suffering, as well as attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. In some cases, you also can recover punitive damages.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Rather, we recommend you contact an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer who can help analyze your claims, and discuss your options with you.
You can contact Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. online, or call us at (201) 777-2250, if you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys regarding your claim or issue under New Jersey's anti-discrimination law.