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Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Employment Discrimination

FAQs 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?

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 or paramours are not necessarily unlawful.

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What Are the Legally Protected Categories Under New Jersey Law?

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.

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What Types of Actions Taken Against Me at Work Can Be Legally Actionable as Discrimination?

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.

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What Is Harassment?

Typically, harassment occurs when an employer takes a series of negative actions against an employee, such as joking, teasing, insulting, assigning undesirable tasks, isolating, or ignoring him or her.

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When Is Harassment Unlawful?

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.

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What Is Sexual Harassment?

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.

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How Long Do I Have to File a Discrimination or Harassment Lawsuit?

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.

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What Types of Damages Can I Recover if I Win an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit?

Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, 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.

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What Should I Do if I Have Been the Victim of Discrimination at My Job?

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.

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How Can I Contact Your Employment Law Firm?

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.

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Client Reviews
"I worked with Jonathan Nirenberg, ESQ on a sensitive emotional employment matter. Mr. Nirenberg was quick to respond, offered excellent advice, and always followed up with phone calls or emails when needed. My situation was settled out of court within a short period of time with the best possible results for not just me but also for the employer. Highly recommend and would seek his help again if needed..." Linda Busch, PhD
"We've had the pleasure of working with Jonathan on multiple individual and class employment cases. Jonathan is a skilled, dedicated and caring attorney that works diligently to bring justice for his clients. We would recommend Jonathan as a legal resource for any employment cases." Stephan Zouras, LLP
"I felt alone and without a voice, until I hired Jonathan I. Nirenberg of Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. Mr. Nirenberg represented me in an employment matter. Without his help, I know that I would not have had the extremely successful outcome I had. Jonathan was not only professional, but very empathetic to what happened to me. Jonathan gave me support, and options in relation to a challenging employer/employment situation which was an extremely difficult time in my life..." Shelly Smith