Understanding Name Discrimination in Hiring in NJ
A person’s name can often suggest their racial identity, among other traits, which can often lead to what is referred to as ‘name discrimination.’ Name discrimination is a common issue that job applicants from different ethnic backgrounds or different genders tend to face during the hiring process. Fortunately, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, protects employees by prohibiting discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, and other categories.
Name discrimination is a serious problem for potential employees that can diminish their dignity and livelihood, and something that should never be tolerated. This type of discrimination is illegal and can result in a lawsuit. From our offices in Red Bank, NJ, Marlton, NJ, and Newark, NJ, McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. represents both employees and employers throughout the state in a wide range of employment discrimination matters, including name discrimination. Our name discrimination attorneys will provide the individual with a clear and candid evaluation of any potential claims, as well as all legal options available to you.
Types of Name Discrimination
Our names hold a lot of information about ourselves. Employers can tell a lot about someone’s ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. based solely on their name. Name discrimination can take on many different forms, such as:
- Racial bias
- Gender bias
- Cultural bias
- Religious bias
- Class bias
- Age bias
Name discrimination is usually influenced by unconscious bias, and can be pretty hard to recognize. Many candidates will assume they didn’t hear back from a company because their resume got lost or just bad luck, and very few candidates will report that they have been discriminated against based on one or more of the following reasons, listed above, because of their name on the application.
Signs You Have Been Discriminated Against Based On Your Name
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if a candidate is being discriminated against based on their name during the hiring process. Some of the telltale signs involve employers asking questions that have nothing to do with the job, or their skills and qualifications. Name discrimination in the workplace can cover a broad spectrum of activity that targets people of different ethnic backgrounds. Some of the clear signs of name discrimination include:
- Failure to recruit or hire based on a candidate’s name
- Failure to interview a candidate based on their name
- Being subjected to harassment or increased scrutiny based on name
- The use of racial slurs or stereotypes during the interview / hiring process
- Racist jokes or uncomfortable discussion about race
This type of discrimination can present itself in many ways during the recruiting process. Name discrimination can range anywhere from subtle acts, which are taken equally as serious, to more obvious behavior. Name discrimination can come from whoever is interviewing the candidate as well as other employees.
What To Do About Name Discrimination
Name discrimination can be hard to prove, but an experienced attorney can help you determine whether you have a case. If you suspect you have been discriminated against based on your name during the interview process, contact one of our experienced discrimination lawyers today. It’s always important to keep records of any correspondences between yourself and a potential employer and to note specific dates and incidences where you think name discrimination has occurred.
In order to really prove name discrimination, the candidate must have evidence that they were treated differently than another candidate with similar circumstances, and that they were treated unfairly because of their ethnic background.
This can be from direct evidence, meaning that the employer directly told the candidate they were not given an opportunity to interview because their name suggested they were of a certain ethnicity. Oftentimes, this isnt the case, and this type of discrimination is more subtle. Circumstantial evidence can also prove name discrimination. This would show that the company a candidate applied for acted differently towards them as opposed to another individual. For example:
- The employee sent in an application for the position and was qualified but didn’t receive an interview offer
- The employer offered interviews to other candidates with similar qualifications but a name of a different ethnicity or gender
- A history of candidates in protected classes being treated unfairly or 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 any discrimination claims.
How Do I File A Name Discrimination Complaint?
If you believe the company you have applied for is discriminating against you based on your name and ethnic background, you should consider contacting one of our name discrimination attorney today to discuss your rights and options. At McOmber, McOmber & Luber, P.C, we can advise the best course of action for your situation, whether that may be filing a complaint directly with the employer, with the state of New Jersey, or pursuing a lawsuit.
An Experienced NJ Name Discrimination Attorney Can Help You
Name discrimination can be 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 name discrimination, our attorneys in Marlton, Newark, and Red Bank can help. We will provide you with a clear and candid evaluation of any potential name discrimination claims, as well as all legal options and recourse available to you. Contact us today to learn more.