New Jersey Employment Law
Discrimination is as emotionally frustrating as it is financially damaging. It’s also illegal, unfair, and wrong. Victims of workplace discrimination in New Jersey deserve to have their rights respected and protected. It’s our job to make sure they are.
At The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we take employment discrimination and other workplace violations very seriously. A healthy society depends on people who are willing to stand up against prejudice and injustice, and we’ve dedicated ourselves to fighting for the rights of workers throughout The Garden State.
Discrimination can happen at any point during the employment process, including applications, interviews, promotions, hiring, and firing. It might also happen after years of otherwise problem-free job performance, perhaps because a new supervisor was hired or a new policy was put in place.
Recognizing an employment violation isn’t always easy. Illegal discrimination can be overt and obvious, but it can also be subtle. Employers may even be liable for the discriminatory conduct of a worker’s colleagues or supervisors.
A New Jersey employment law attorney at our firm can help you understand your rights on the job and whether you might have a case. The law in this area can be complicated because it involves numerous federal rules and regulations, but we’re here to guide you through it. We’ll use our years of experience to fight for your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.
Understanding At-Will Employment
As in most states, employment in New Jersey is presumed to be “at-will.” This means that, unless you have a contract specifically stating otherwise, both you and your employer are free to terminate your employment at any time and for any reason — so long as that reason does not violate state or federal employment law.
So your boss can fire you because they don’t like your attitude, personality, or behavior. But he or she can’t fire you because you belong to a particular race, religion, or other protected class.
Often, that’s a fine line. Your employer might fire you for one reason but claim it was for another. That’s called “pretext for discrimination,” and it isn’t allowed. A New Jersey employment attorney can help you demonstrate the difference and expose discrimination for what it is. If you suspect that your employer was motivated by discrimination or has otherwise violated the law, you should never assume you don’t have a case until you talk with a New Jersey employment attorney (even if your employment is “at-will”).
What is Protected Under New Jersey Employment Law?
Most employee protections come from federal statutes or the U.S. Constitution. Under federal law, most employers are prohibited from considering any of the following when making decisions about hiring, firing, job assignments, wages, and promotions:
- National origin
Additionally, New Jersey employment law offers protection against discrimination based on:
- Marital status
- Domestic partnership or civil union status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- AIDS or HIV-related illnesses.
Employers in New Jersey aren’t even allowed to ask you questions like “Are you married?” or “Are you gay?” during the interview process. (It’s illegal to ask about national origin, too, but note that employers can ask whether you are able to prove that you are eligible to work in the United States.)
Additional Employment Protections
If you take action against your employer for discrimination or for other violations of the law, it is illegal for that employer to retaliate against you. Too many people fail to stand up for their rights because they fear they’ll make the situation worse, or that their boss might give them a bad reference in the future. But with a New Jersey employment attorney’s help, you can prevent that from happening.
Employers are also required to act in accordance with their own established policies and procedures. For example, if an employee handbook says that you are entitled to a certain number of warnings prior to termination, the employer may be liable for making an exception in your case.
New Jersey employment law also provides protection for the following:
- Victims of sexual harassment
- Workers subjected to a hostile or discriminatory working environment
- Whistleblowers (people who report illegal activity by their employers)
- Employees taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Workers who are asked to violate the law and refuse.
This isn’t a complete list, so you should contact our law firm if you believe your rights might have been violated.
Contact a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Help or Advice
No one deserves discrimination. At The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., we expect employers to behave fairly and in compliance with the law. When they don’t, we are prepared to hold them accountable. Often, that means recovering financial compensation on your behalf.
If you’ve fallen victim to workplace discrimination, an experienced New Jersey employment attorney can help. But remember that a statute of limitations (“time limit”) may apply, so the sooner you act, the better.
To get started today, call 1-855-432-2489 or use the quick connect form right away. Our firm proudly serves Parsippany, Troy Hills, Morris County, Essex County, and the entire state of New Jersey. We are here for you.