If you live and work in NJ you can rest assured that the State is doing everything they can to eliminate discrimination. The laws against harassment and discrimination are detailed and cover several areas. They are in place to protect you from being treated poorly or denied opportunities, especially in employment.
New Jersey (NJ) Job Discrimination Law in the Workplace, through New Jersey’s Law against discrimination says that it is unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status. The law prohibits employers from discriminating in any employment aspect, including recruitment, interviewing, hiring, promotions, discharge, compensation and the terms, conditions and privileges of employment on the basis of any of the law’s specified protected categories. Additionally under New Jersey (NJ) Job Discrimination Law in the Workplace, an employment policy or practice that is neutral in its terms may be deemed unlawful if the policy or practice has an adverse impact on protected groups. A physical requirement is more likely to be regarded as unlawful if there is an alternative measure of job related abilities, such as strength or stamina tests, that would provide a more accurate evaluation of a candidate’s ability to perform without screening out qualified members of groups that historically have been excluded from particular jobs.
New Jersey (NJ) Job Discrimination Law in the Workplace also prohibits harassment based on protected characteristics such as race, sex or nationality. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct creates an unlawful work environment when it is severe or pervasive enough to make an individual feel the environment has become hostile or abusive.
In New Jersey, sexual discrimination law in the workplace can be found in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). Under this law, employers are anyone who employs another person including the State of New Jersey and public agencies. This differs from the federal law because Title VII applies only to those employers who have fifteen or more employees. Employees are those who are employed by employers as defined above. New Jersey law does exclude domestic service.
Under this law, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of sex. This means they cannot make decisions about hiring, firing and benefits (such as compensation) based on a person’s sex. It also includes sexual harassment and/or policies that might make the workplace a hostile environment or unfair to one gender or another.
Complaints against employers must be made within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. From there, the Division will contact your employer and give him or her a chance to respond to the complaint. If you and your employer don’t reach an early settlement, an investigator will gather information about your case and then decide whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that your rights have been violated.
If the investigator finds reasonable cause, you and your employer will enter another settlement phase. If this is unsuccessful, your case will go before a hearing to reach a final decision.
You can also file the case in the state courts. To do so, you’ll need to consult an attorney to go over your options and the case must be filed within two years of the alleged incident. Remember, however, that you cannot file with the Division and go through the courts, so you’ll want to find out which option is best for you.
Employers and employees are each responsible for knowing their rights and responsibilities when it comes to sexual discrimination law in the workplace. One way to help with that is for employers to keep an updated New Jersey Complete Labor Law Poster visible in the workplace.
I think it’s a good time to take a look at New Jersey’s anti-discrimination laws for workers. New Jersey doesn’t permit workers to be discriminated against in the workplace because of age, ancestry, religion, color, disability (including HIV and AIDS), genetic information, sexual orientation, sex, race, nationality, or nation origin. The New Jersey state discrimination posters outline the employee’s rights under both the state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
The New Jersey state discrimination posters must be placed in an area where all employees will have a good opportunity to see them. They also need to contain information that allows the employees to know exactly what can and can’t be done to them. While it is the employers’ responsibility to know the laws and to display the correct New Jersey state discrimination posters in the correct place, it is the employees’ responsibility to read the poster and make sure their rights aren’t violated.
The anti-discrimination laws outlined on the New Jersey state discrimination posters are enforced by the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. If a person feels that he/she has been discriminated against, that person should file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights at one of their five regional offices. This complaint must be filed no later than one hundred and eighty days after the last incident of discrimination occurred. The person may or may not obtain an attorney. The alleged victim can also decide to bypass the Division and file their complaint in Superior Court.
It is the responsibility of both the employer and employee to know about the laws dealing with discrimination in the workplace. Workers should find and read the New Jersey state discrimination posters that must be posted in the workplace. The employer must ensure that no discrimination takes place and that the New Jersey state discrimination posters are displayed in an appropriate area.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, nationality, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or liability for military service. The law also makes genetic discrimination illegal, preventing employers from testing for an atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait or genetic information.
Although New Jersey law regarding age discrimination is similar to the Federal law, comparing it to the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act shows that they differ in several significant ways. I noticed that New Jersey law protects workers under 40, unlike the ADEA which covers only workers over 40. In New Jersey, workers 70 and older cannot bring an age discrimination claim for not getting hired, but they may bring an age discrimination claim for other forms of discrimination. Also, New Jersey workers involved in age discrimination cases may recover emotional pain and suffering damages and punitive damages, which the federal law prohibits.
Discrimination claims can be filed with either the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The two agencies cooperate with each other to process claims, so filing a claim with both agencies is unnecessary. Just let the agency you file with know that you want them to cross file the claim with the other agency.
One important point is that the New Jersey anti-discrimination statute covers employers of every size, while the EEOC enforces federal law which covers only employers with 15 or more employees. So if your workplace has fewer than 14 employees, you may want to file with the DCR. Your complaint must be filed within 180 days of the date you believe discrimination occurred. It’s also important that you know if the DCR finds no probable cause, you cannot pursue your claim further in court.