New Jersey employment laws strictly prohibit discrimination in the workplace. As an employee in New Jersey, you have the right to earn income in the same way as any other person with similar qualifications. If an employer denies you a job opportunity, a promotion, a salary increase, additional education or training based on a personal characteristic, you may have grounds to litigate your workplace discrimination claim. There are a host of protected classes under New Jersey law which cannot be discriminated against in a work setting.
If you suspect that your sex, gender identity, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or another characteristic protected against discrimination has unduly influenced your employer toward unfairness, it is important to understand your rights.
Workers are guaranteed the right to maintain employment and earn income free from discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. A boss with prejudices cannot prevent you from getting a job, earning a fair salary, moving up in your company, or receiving the same benefits as your colleagues, simply because of who you are. According to New Jersey discrimination laws, the following are protected traits in the realm of employment:
• Race • Religion (Creed) • Color • Age • National Origin, Nationality • Ancestry • Sex (includes sexual harassment and pregnancy) • Gender Identity or Expression • Sexual Orientation • Marital, Domestic Partnership, or Civil Union Status • Genetic Information, Atypical Cellular or Blood Trait • Mental or Physical disability (includes AIDS and HIV related illnesses)
Any intentional discrimination in the workplace based on one of the above traits is unlawful under New Jersey Laws Against Discrimination (LAD).
More Information about Employment Discrimination:
From the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Discrimination by Type
Workplace discrimination extends far beyond simply who gets a job and who loses one. In New Jersey, discrimination in employment encompasses recruitment practices, interviewing candidates, hiring, termination, promotion decisions, compensation, employment agreements, terms and privileges in the workplace. If you have been a victim of unfairness based on any of the aforementioned protected characteristics, the law provides you with an avenue through which to obtain lost income. Here are some of the common ways workers experience employment discrimination in New Jersey.
Hiring is among the most important decisions made by employers, as it determines your ability to fairly earn income in today’s competitive job market. Employers in New Jersey must provide equal consideration for roles in their organization to all potential candidates with similar training and experience. If a protected trait influences hiring practices, this constitutes discrimination. Essentially, New Jersey laws outlaw basing hiring decisions on where a person comes from, how they identify themselves, how old they are, their race, how they worship, who they love, or any other of the above factors. This extends to every stage of the hiring process and all related functions, including recruiting, interviews, hiring, and advancement in the workplace.
New Jersey employees can be fired for any number of reasons, including lack of job performance, corporate changes, mergers, company financial constraints, and other factors. However, an employer cannot fire an employee because he or she falls into one of the protected classes under NJ LAD. Termination based solely on a protected trait, including becoming pregnant, is considered discrimination in firing. Additionally, exit pay and severance packages must include equal terms for all employees with the same job function, performance, experience, and education. In essence, you cannot legally lose your job or be subject to unfair discharge compensation based on one of the personal characteristics outlined above.
It is also considered discrimination to provide different salaries to employees based on protected traits. For example, subjecting women to a different pay scale than men across an organization is strictly prohibited in New Jersey. This envelopes all of the classes of people protected under New Jersey discrimination laws, including those who earn less money because of their gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity. Uncovering similar discriminatory practices in payment throughout a company can give rise to a workplace discrimination claim with multiple plaintiffs in the same protected class.
Companies must not provide deferential treatment to some employees and not others based on personal characteristics. You may find that even after you are hired, you are not provided with the same opportunities for continuing education, training, or career advancement as your equally qualified colleagues serving in the same role. Discriminatory practices in the workplace can also extend to employee privileges and advantages, such as expense accounts, employee discounts, health benefits, and other services. If you have been denied access to the same company perks based on your age, relationship status, nationality, or other individual trait, you may have a valid discrimination lawsuit against your employer.