Job 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. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were 1,480 total Charges of Discrimination filed against employers in New Jersey in 2019. Of these charges, 32.2% were based on race, 29.5% were based on sex, and 14.3% were based on national origin. Fortunately, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), along with various federal statutes enforced, provides employees with strong legal protection against job discrimination.
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 job 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 job discrimination case. With our depth and breadth of experience, we can anticipate likely challenges and work tirelessly to overcome them.
What is Job Discrimination?
Job discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly by their boss or another coworker because of his or her protected class, such as race or age. Mistreatment could range from verbal or physical harassment, withholding benefits or promotion opportunities, or firing someone from the job because of their age or race. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that it is illegal to discriminate in hiring, discharge, or promotion on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other protected classification. If you feel you have been a victim of job discrimination, contact our office today to speak with our experienced job discrimination attorneys.
Common Types of Job Discrimination
There are different types of job discrimination, which depend on the work environment and various industries. There are often multiple forms of discrimination that create a negative and hostile work environment. Common types of job discrimination include, but are not limited to:
- Gender discrimination: When an employee is treated badly because of their gender. While men can deal with this too, women tend to experience this type of discrimination at higher rates. This includes getting paid less than the males on the job when they both have the same work experience. Sexual harassment in the workplace is considered a form of gender discrimination.
- Pregnancy discrimination: One of the most common forms of job discrimination in New Jersey, this occurs when an employee is harassed, fired, or otherwise unfairly treated because they are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or take their maternity leave.
- Age discrimination: Age discrimination often becomes an issue when hiring or promoting someone. Some employers discriminate based on age because they think that older employees cannot perform the same tasks as younger employees, and they are less productive and less innovative than younger employees. Age discrimination can sometimes make it hard for people to find a new job after being laid off from their previous one.
- Racial discrimination: Racial discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly or differently than other employees based on their race or color. Employees can deal with racial slurs, demotions based on their race, or termination.
- Religious discrimination: This form of discrimination occurs when an employee is not considered for promotions, benefits, and preferable assignments based on their religion. Other forms of discrimination could include slurs and rude behavior from other coworkers or supervisors.
- LGBTQ discrimination: The LGBTQ community often faces discrimination at their job. For example, trans workers might struggle to go to the bathroom that coincides with their identity. They might experience more discrimination when they begin publicly transitioning.
How Do You Prove Job Discrimination?
In order to prove that you have been discriminated against at work, you must be able to show evidence that you were treated differently to another employee with similar circumstances and that this treatment happened because of your membership in a protected class. This can include:
- Direct Evidence, for example, if your employer admits that you were not hired, passed over for a promotion, terminated, or otherwise treated differently because of your pregnancy, age, race, disability, or other protected classification.
- Circumstantial Evidence showing that your employer acted differently than usual or bypassed standard protocols because of your membership in a protected class, for example:
- Your boss fires you for an infraction that did not occur, does not make sense, or only resulted in a warning for other employees.
- You are fired or demoted under suspicious circumstances, for example right after you announce your pregnancy or right after you get injured.
- Hiring someone other than yourself who has the same qualifications.
- A history of other employees in protected classes being treated differently.
Employers 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.
Where Do I File A Job Discrimination Complaint?
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you based on your race, age, pregnancy, disability, or other protected classification, you should contact an experienced job discrimination attorney first to discuss your rights and options.
After speaking with a lawyer, your next move will most likely be to file an internal complaint with your company’s human resources department or labor union. This gives your employer an opportunity to resolve the issue and puts the employer on notice. If the employer fails to remedy the situation or retaliates, a lawsuit may be considered.
An Experienced NJ Job Discrimination Attorney Can Help You
Job discrimination is a serious problem for both employers and employees that can damage workplace morale, harm employees, and result in costly lawsuits. Whether you are an employer defending against a discrimination claim, or an employee who has been subjected to discrimination, our job discrimination attorneys in Marlton and Red Bank can help. We will provide you with a clear and candid evaluation of any potential job discrimination claims, as well as all legal options and recourse available to you. Contact us today to discuss your situation.