Marital Status Discrimination
Employment laws in New Jersey, New York and New York State and New York City prohibit marital status discrimination on the basis of your marital status. That means your employer cannot use the fact that you are married, single, divorced or widowed as a basis to fire you, demote you, pass you up for a promotion or otherwise discriminate against you. Similarly, if you apply for a new job in New Jersey or New York, it is illegal for the employer to decide to hire someone else because of your marital status.
Marital status discrimination often is based on stereotypes. For example, when making hiring decisions and work assignments, a supervisor might assume a single parent will not work as hard, is not as dependable or is less available to work overtime than an employee who is married. However, this is improper since stereotypes are frequently inaccurate and certainly do not apply to everyone in a particular group. It can be a violation of your employment law rights if your boss makes a decision about you based on an incorrect assumption due to your marital status.
Similarly, it is unlawful for a company to refuse to hire you because you are living with someone to whom you are not married. Although your boss might believe you are “living in sin,” the fact that you are not legally married to the person with whom you are living rarely, if ever, has anything to do with your qualifications for the job. It certainly should not be the basis for employment decisions.Related Claim – Gender Discrimination
Marital status discrimination claims are often related to gender discrimination claims. For example, a company might make certain assumptions about a single or divorced woman that it never would make about a single or divorced man. Whether it is classified as gender discrimination, marital status discrimination or both this type of discrimination is unlawful in New Jersey and New York.Domestic Partnership and Civil Union Status Discrimination
New Jersey and New York City law not only prohibit discrimination based on your marital status, but they also prohibit domestic partnership status discrimination. In addition, New Jersey law prohibits companies from discriminating against employees based on their civil union status. That means employers in New Jersey, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island cannot discriminate against employees or job candidates because they are (or are not) in a same-sex domestic partnership. New Jersey employers also cannot discriminate against employees because they are in a civil union. These forms of discrimination often are associated with sexual orientation discrimination.Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. is dedicated to representing New Jersey and New York employees in all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment cases, including when it is based on marital status, domestic partnership status or civil union status. We invite you to contact us online or call us at (973) 744-4000 for more information about how we can help enforce your rights in the workplace.
To learn more about your legal rights, please visit our New Jersey Employment Law Blog.