New Jersey law prohibits discrimination based on gender in many different contexts including employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. In an employment setting, gender harassment and discrimination claims are prohibited by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD). The NJ LAD covers employment actions that may arise from the initial posting of a job opportunity all the way to the discharge of an employee. Hiring and firing practices, the determination of wages and benefits, the way in which an employee’s work is appraised, and any other questionable conduct that occurs during the course of a worker’s employment can create a cause of action under the Law Against Discrimination if the conduct has a discriminatory motivation.
In order to prove discrimination under the NJ LAD, a plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination. In other words, the employee must show that there is evidence the court can use to make an inference that the employer has discriminated against the employee. This evidence is typically based on a comparison of how the employer treated other employees of opposite genders. Next, the employer will be given the opportunity to rebut this inference. The employer must show that there is a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the conduct. If the employer is able to successfully rebut the discrimination claim, the plaintiff must be able to show that the employer’s proof is only a “pretext” for its conduct and that the underlying motivation was discriminatory.
Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, gender-based discrimination can occur in a variety of circumstances. These can include when:
Quid pro quo sexual harassment is another form of gender discrimination. Quid pro quo, which means “this for that” in Latin, involves the exchange of an employment benefit for sexual favors. The supervisor’s offer of a benefit does not need to be explicitly stated. It can simply be implied. You may have a valid claim for quid pro quo sexual harassment if your employer has made you feel like you must engage in sexual conduct in order to advance or keep your job, even if he has not specifically told you that this is the case.
If you have become the victim of unlawful gender-based discrimination or sexual harassment, various remedies and relief may be available. The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights can grant an administrative remedy. A judicial remedy can be found through the New Jersey court system. Although both of these options may provide a discrimination victim with relief, one important difference between these two types of remedies is that punitive damages are only available through a judicial remedy brought in New Jersey Superior Court. In a lawsuit, a plaintiff with a valid and successful claim may also be entitled to job reinstatement with back pay and interest, damages for pain and emotional distress, and fees plus expenses associated with pursuing the remedy.
Workers of New Jersey have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment. The Mark Law Firm, LLC understand how difficult it is to be harassed or discriminated against and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. There may be a limited time, however, in which you can bring your claim. Therefore, if you believe that you have become the victim of unlawful gender-based discrimination, it is crucial that you seek the advice of an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible. Don’t allow someone’s actions to impact your quality of life. Gender discrimination comes in a variety of forms. Allow our team of attorneys to assess your case and guide you through your legal option. If you need our legal services, The Mark Law Firm, LLC is here to serve.