Rights of Employees
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
One of the state’s most important employment laws, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), is a broad anti-discrimination law which is intended to help eliminate discrimination from our society. In support of that goal, the LAD prohibits discrimination in the context of employment, business transactions, places of public accommodation, and housing.Employment Discrimination
The LAD prohibits employers in New Jersey from discriminating against employees and job candidates based on specific legally-protected categories. These categories include: age, race, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, disability, religion, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and military service.
Thus, an employer violates the LAD if it makes a decision about a hiring, firing, demotion, suspension, promotion or raise, or takes another adverse employment action which alters the employee’s terms and conditions of employment, based on one of those categories.
The LAD also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for disabilities, reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, and reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs.
Similarly, the LAD makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee because he or she objected about an activity of the employer that the employee reasonably believed violated the LAD.
For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Employment Law, our call us at (201) 777-2250 to schedule a meeting with a New Jersey discrimination attorney.Discrimination in Contracts and Business Transactions
The LAD is not just an employment law statute in New Jersey. It also prohibits individuals and businesses from discriminating in connection with buying, selling, leasing, contracting, or otherwise doing business with another person or business. In particular, it makes it unlawful to discriminate in doing business based on the membership of another party to the transaction, or his/her/its spouse, owners, officers, directors, managers, employees, agents, suppliers or customers, in virtually all of the same categories the LAD protects against employment discrimination.Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation
The LAD also prohibits the owners, managers and employees of places of “public accommodation” from discriminating. A place of public accommodation means virtually any place where members of the public are generally permitted to go. For example, it prohibits discrimination by most New Jersey restaurants, hotels, retail stores, garages, parks, hospitals, theaters, public libraries, colleges, universities, public schools and camps. It protects against discrimination in terms of admission, service, access and other advantages in a place of public accommodation based on any of the categories the LAD protects against discrimination in business transactions, other than based on age.Housing Discrimination
In addition to being a New Jersey employment law that prohibits discrimination in employment and business transactions, the LAD makes it illegal for owners, agents, real estate brokers and employees to discriminate when renting or selling a home. With respect to housing discrimination, the protected categories are the same as discrimination in places of public accommodation, as well as family status and source of lawful income or rent payment.
Please note that our New Jersey discrimination attorneys do not handle housing discrimination claims.Damages Recoverable Under the LAD
The LAD permits victims of harassment and discrimination to recover a wide range of damages and remedies, including reinstatement to their jobs, damages for past and future economic losses, emotional distress, as well as recovery of their attorneys’ fees and other legal costs. In addition, in some instances, punitive damages can be available to punish individuals and businesses that engaged in the discrimination.
If you believe your rights under the LAD or another employment law statute in New Jersey has been violated, please feel free to contact our firm by calling us at (201) 777-2250, or by submitting our online contact form.