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The laws of New Jersey and the United States make clear that is is unlawful for a private entity or a public entity to discriminate against a person. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, nationality, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, disability (actual or perceived) or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, or because of the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or because of the refusal to submit to a genetic test or to make available the results of genetic test to an employer. The NJLAD and its prohibitions apply to all employers regardless of the number of persons they employ. NJSA 10:5-12.
Sexual harassment is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under the NJLAD. There are generally two types recognized. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer, or any employer’s agent, implicitly or explicitly makes submission to sexual demands a condition of employment, such as a promotion or keeping employment. Hostile work environment occurs when an employee is subjected to sexual, abusive or offensive conduct because of his or her gender that is severe and pervasive enough to make a reasonable person of the employee’s gender believe that the conditions of employment have been altered and the working environment has become hostile or abusive.
The NJLAD has a specific pregnancy discrimination provision that prohibits less favorable treatment of women based upon pregnancy and requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s pregnancy-related needs when requested by the employee upon advice of her doctor (such as bathroom breaks, periodic rest, job restructuring, assistance with manual labor, etc., but not mandating additional leave).
New Jersey has a very broad interpretation of the term disability. It is essentially any condition, physical or non-physical. Even a minor condition may be considered a disability. The law requires the employer to reasonably accommodate any employee’s disability to the extent necessary to allow the disabled employee to perform the essential functions of the job, unless such accommodation, would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. NJSA 10:5-4; NJAC 13:13-2.5.
The law provides remedies to a victim of discrimination that includes requiring the person or entity guilty of the discrimination to pay the victim’s attorneys fees and costs, and punitive damages in addition to any economic loss or noneconomic loss. The law does this to declare its abhorrence of discriminatory practices and to encourage individuals to come forward and obtain justice.
Many times females are discriminated against without them realizing it. If a female receives less pay than a man for doing the same work then this is a violation of New Jersey state law. The New Jersey Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex. An employee may recover the full amount of salary or wages due from the employer plus an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, plus attorneys’ fees. N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.1 to 56.8.
Sheffet & Dvorin, PC litigates discrimination claims in state and federal courts. Sheffet & Dvorin, PC has counseled clients on federal and state laws regarding discrimination. Sheffet & Dvorin, PC seeks to represent victims of discrimination during in-house investigations and in lawsuits against employers and their managers and decision makers.
Laws exist to make sure that employees are not discriminated against on the basis of age, a disability, ethnicity, gender, race or religion. We at Sheffet & Dvorin, PC are proud to assist clients in enforcing those laws and securing fair treatment. If you or an employee who has been wrongfully terminated or been treated unfairly we encourage you to seek out our legal counsel.
Contact a Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Union County Discrimination Law Attorney for a Free Consultation
The employment law attorneys of Sheffet & Dvorin, PC will answer your questions and help you navigate the discrimination related laws of the United States and New Jersey. The firm offers a free consultation regarding all employment law matters. Contact us to learn more.