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$1.1 million Age
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$750,000 Employment
Case

Discrimination Claims

You Have the Right to Be Free From Unlawful Discrimination at Work

In New Jersey, individuals have the right to be free from unlawful discrimination in the workplace. In addition to federal laws, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits employers from treating employees and job applicants differently based on certain characteristics that are not related to their performance or qualifications.

If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, you need an experienced employment attorney to fight for your rights. The law firm of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, has expertise in all aspects of employment law and routinely works with clients who have been harmed by employment discrimination.

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

In New Jersey, it is unlawful for an employer, supervisor or co-worker to treat an employee differently because of any of the following legally protected characteristics:

Types of Employment Discrimination in New Jersey

The law against discrimination makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of legally protected characteristics when making decisions about:

  • Hiring
  • Promotions
  • Demotions
  • Terminations
  • Pay
  • Terms and conditions of employment

The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a complaint regarding a prohibited practice or testifying or assisting in related legal proceedings.

The Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for employers to pay employees of any protected class less than they pay any other type of employee for substantially similar work. To justify why they pay different classes of employees differently for substantially similar work, employers must be able to show that the differential is the result of legitimate, bona fide factors, such as training, education, experience, the amount or quality of production, job-related factors that are based on business necessity, or factors other than the protected category of the employees.

Employees who can show that they are paid less than other groups of employees not of the same protected category are entitled to collect back pay for six years and may recover three times their economic damages (lost wages) if the employer cannot show that the wage differential is justified.

Age Discrimination is Illegal

In New Jersey, discrimination based on an employee’s age is illegal, regardless of whether the employee is targeted for being older or younger. However, it is much more common for older employees to be subjected to age discrimination than it is for younger employees. For example, older employees typically have higher salaries, causing them to be the first ones laid off when employers look to cut costs through workforce reductions. Some supervisors also mistakenly believe that younger employees are more driven, have new ideas and are more skilled than older workers.

Employers Often Veil Their Race Discrimination Motives

Today, many employees are still victims of discrimination based on their race, although employers often conceal their motives and intentions and rarely engage in obvious racial discrimination. Individuals are also often subject to discrimination based on their ancestry, ethnicity, nationality or national origin.

Gender Discrimination is Still a Problem in the Workplace

Despite the gains women have made in a wide range of workplaces and professional settings, gender discrimination in New Jersey is still widespread. This occurs when women are not promoted to the highest leadership positions for reasons unrelated to their qualifications, or when they receive unequal pay or are assigned menial tasks. Women are also still targets of the most blatant form of discrimination, sexual harassment. While women are more often victims of gender discrimination, men can also be subjected to gender discrimination and are equally protected under the law.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

Although society has become far more accepting of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, they are still not treated fairly by some employers. The state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Marital Status Discrimination is Unlawful

Some employers and supervisors may have their own stereotypes about whether single or married employees are more likely to work hard, so discrimination can occur against individuals based on whether they are married, single, widowed or divorced. The LAD prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of marital status, domestic partnership status or civil union status.

Disabled People are Frequently Treated Unfairly at Work

Because individuals with medical conditions often require accommodations such as leaves of absence, they are frequently treated unfairly in the workplace. Some employers and supervisors believe accommodations can be disruptive to the business or an inconvenience to other employees. Nonetheless, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against workers with disabilities and businesses are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations.

Employers Unwilling to Accommodate Maternity Leaves Can Be Liable for Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnant employees, like employees with other medical conditions, often require accommodations such as modified work schedules. Some employers will thus find it undesirable to accommodate pregnancy and its related medical conditions and limitations.

New Jersey Employers are Required to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Religious Practices

The LAD prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based upon their religion. In addition, New Jersey law may consider it religious discrimination if an employer fails to provide employees with reasonable accommodations for religious practices, such as modified work schedules.

How Can I Prove Employment Discrimination in New Jersey?

While workplace discrimination is illegal, proving a case can be difficult. Employers do not usually create direct evidence that they are unlawfully discriminating against an employee. Instead, attorneys usually must prove discrimination circumstantially. That means demonstrating that the reasons an employer offered for taking an adverse employment action against an employee were a pretext or smokescreen for discrimination. We do that one of two ways:

One method is to show that the employer’s justification is simply untrue. For example, if an employer claims it fired an employee for being late, we might use time records to show that the employee was on time.

The second method of proving pretext is to show that while the employer’s justification was true, it was not the real motivating factor. For example, if the employer claims that it fired an older employee for being late, but we can demonstrate that the employer knew several younger employees were also late and did not discipline those employees, that would be proof of age discrimination.

The discrimination claims attorneys at Lenzo & Reis, LLC, have extensive experience representing clients who have suffered discrimination in the workplace. We are dedicated to understanding the unique circumstances of each case, thoroughly investigating the evidence and fighting vigorously for our clients in court. If you have been a victim of employment discrimination, you may be able to recover compensation for lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, and attorneys’ fees. Call our office today at (973) 845-9922 for a free case evaluation over the phone with a lawyer or send us an email. We serve clients in Morristown and Newark and throughout New Jersey.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
★★★★★
"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
★★★★★
"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.