Hiring discrimination is, unfortunately, a common problem in workplaces throughout New Jersey. Discrimination against certain protected classifications of people in the workplace can take the form of termination, harassment, retaliation, hostile work environments, and more. It is illegal in New Jersey to discriminate during the hiring process on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic.
From our offices in Red Bank, NJ, and Marlton, NJ, McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. represents both employees and employers throughout the state in a wide range of hiring discrimination matters. Our lawyers are known for their ability to provide effective advocacy and protect your career. Having handled cases for both employers and employees, we understand the specific tactical and strategic issues involved on both sides of a hiring discrimination case. With our depth and breadth of experience, we can anticipate likely challenges and work tirelessly to overcome them.
Federal and NJ State Laws Against Discrimination in Hiring
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects employees from discrimination during any point in their employment, including the interview and hiring process. This law states that your organization cannot discriminate against individuals for their race, religion, sex, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability, sexual orientation, or other classification. This law was put in place to provide an equal and safe workplace for everyone and is to be followed by all eligible businesses within New Jersey.
Additionally, federal laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) protect people from hiring discrimination based on protected classifications.
Signs You’ve Been Discriminated Against During The Hiring Process
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you are being discriminated against during the hiring process. The employer may ask some questions not related to the job, or your skills and qualifications. Instead, they may ask oddly personal questions. This is one of the biggest red flags that you may be facing discrimination. Another sign is that the interviewer is treating you differently than others.
Discrimination During the Interview Process
During the interview process, it is illegal to ask the applicant any questions on the basis of a protected class, mentioned above. To review, these topics include age, race, gender, the nation of origin, religion, disability status, or health (including pregnancy). Sometimes, these types of questions can tend to creep up in conversation unexpectedly. Some examples of questions that are illegal include:
- How old are your kids? Are you planning on having any more? (age, health, pregnancy discrimination)
- Where did you grow up, and what language did you speak first? (national origin, language discrimination)
- Have you ever had a serious illness or been hospitalized for it? (health, disability discrimination)
- Have you ever been depressed/spent time in a mental health facility? (mental illness discrimination)
- Where do you go to church/temple/mosque? (religious discrimination)
- What kind of visa do you have/how long are you here for? (Discrimination against immigrants)
- Do you have childcare in place/a spouse at home? (maternity leave/marital status discrimination)
How Do You Prove Hiring Discrimination?
In order to prove that you have been discriminated against during the hiring process, you must be able to show evidence that you were treated differently to another candidate with similar circumstances and that this treatment happened because of your membership in a protected class. This can include:
Direct Evidence, for example, if the person who interviewed you admits that you were not hired, or otherwise treated differently because of your pregnancy, age, race, disability, or other protected classification.
Circumstantial Evidence showing that the company you interviewed with acted differently than usual or bypassed standard protocols because of your membership in a protected class, for example:
- The interviewer asks illegal questions during the interview process
- Hiring someone other than you who has the same qualifications.
- A history of other employees in protected classes being treated differently.
Companies facing accusations of discrimination must also work closely with lawyers who can develop the strongest possible defenses to these claims. Our firm represents a wide range of employers to prevent, investigate, and defend against discrimination claims.
How Do I File A Discrimination Complaint?
If you believe an employer has failed to hire you because of your race, age, pregnancy, disability, or other protected classification, you should contact a hiring discrimination attorney to discuss your rights and options. They can advise the best course of action for your situation, whether it may be filing a complaint directly with the employer or pursuing a lawsuit.
An Experienced NJ Hiring Discrimination Attorney Can Help You
Hiring discrimination is a serious problem for both employers and potential hires that can damage a business’ reputation, diminish the dignity and livelihood of potential hires, and result in costly lawsuits. Whether you are an employer defending against a discrimination claim or an applicant who has been subjected to discrimination, our hiring discrimination attorneys in Marlton and Red Bank can help. We will provide you with a clear and candid evaluation of any potential hiring discrimination claims, as well as all legal options and recourse available to you. Contact us today to learn more.