How Do I File a Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit?
Our Middlesex County Discrimination Lawyer Explains Employment Rights
Workplace discrimination occurs when workers receive differential treatment in the workplace due to their being a member of a protected class. Discriminatory actions may include harassment, denial of opportunities like promotions, wrongful termination and retaliation from employers. Workplace discrimination is against the law, even in cases where it is unintentional. This means that if you are facing discriminatory treatment at work, then you may be able to file a complaint and/or a lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may recover damages and induce change that prevents future instances of workplace discrimination.
Since 1928, the attorneys at Spevack Law Firm have helped victims of discrimination hold their employers accountable for unlawful treatment. If you experienced discrimination at your job, then contact a New Jersey discrimination lawyer at our law firm today. We will listen to your account and can advise you on your ability to file an employment law claim. We have offices in New Brunswick, Iselin and Teaneck, New Jersey.
What are the Discrimination Laws in New Jersey?
Workplace discrimination is illegal under both federal and New Jersey laws. The federal discrimination laws that may apply to you include:
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 addresses workplace discrimination under multiple circumstances. Under this law, employers may not treat you differently because of your race, color, national origin, sex or religion. In addition, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII, offers workplace protections if you become pregnant.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA protects workers who have physical or mental disabilities that limit a major life activity. Under this law, many employers must provide disabled workers with reasonable accommodations. These are modifications to job duties that do not pose an undue hardship on employers.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If you are 40 years of age or older, the ADEA protects you from age discrimination.
New Jersey also has state laws that offer additional protections to employees. Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), employers cannot discriminate against you based on:
- Familial status
- Military service liability
- Genetic history
- Mental and physical disability
- HIV or AIDS status
- Pregnancy status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- National origin or nationality
New Jersey discrimination law is more specific and comprehensive than the federal laws. Additionally, you may collect punitive and compensatory damages in cases where workplace discrimination is intentional. For example, if you are a victim of age discrimination in New Jersey, then LAD may allow you to collect compensatory and punitive damages.
Where Do I File a Discrimination Complaint in New Jersey?
You can file a complaint for workplace discrimination with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights (DCR). The EEOC is a federal organization which typically investigates claims concerning companies with more than 15 employees. On the other hand, the DCR handles complaints for the state and may investigate businesses of any size. When filing a complaint with either organization, you can note that you would like to file a claim with the other agency as well. This allows both agencies to work together on investigating and potentially moving forward with your claim. A New Jersey discrimination attorney can help you file a complaint and pursue other legal options.
Additionally, there are important deadlines for discrimination complaints in New Jersey. For example, you may only have 180 days to file a claim with the DCR beginning from the date you believe the discriminatory treatment at work began. If this deadline passes, then you may lose your ability to seek compensation in an employment discrimination lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Even if you do not hire an attorney to file your complaint, you should get legal advice as your case continues, especially if your employer disputes your claims. Discrimination laws are complex and their usefulness can vary depending on your case. Furthermore, your employer likely has the financial resources to fight discrimination allegations.
Depending on the circumstances, the EEOC or DCR may pursue your case or advise you of your right to sue in a private employment lawsuit. If you file an employment lawsuit, then you may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages and other damages. Additionally, the effects of a lawsuit may also result in your employer changing policies and procedures.
Harmed by Workplace Discrimination? Call Our New Jersey Discrimination Lawyer Today
Our attorneys can handle employment discrimination cases of all types. Whether you are experiencing harassment, retaliation for filing a complaint or any form of unfair treatment, our attorneys have your back. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover lost wages and benefits from your employer in a workplace discrimination lawsuit. In some situations, it is even possible to recover punitive and compensatory damages. Our attorneys can explain which options may be available in your unique situation.
If you experienced or are experiencing workplace discrimination, then please contact our New Jersey employment law attorneys. To speak to one of our Middlesex County attorneys, please call (732) 636-3030 or fill out our online contact form.