Understanding the Legal Implications of Discrimination
Any discriminatory practice at the workplace can have serious consequences. If you feel that any decision on the part of your employer is discriminatory in nature, it is better to talk to an attorney right away. New Jersey discrimination laws dictate that an employer cannot discriminate on certain grounds.
What are these grounds? These include race, religion, creed, nationality, sex, color, physical or mental disability, national origin, age, ancestry, affection or sexual orientation, marital status, or liability for military service. Genetic discrimination is also illegal in the state.
The New Jersey Law against Discrimination is broader than the federal law in two significant aspects. While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects individuals over 40, the New Jersey law protects individuals under 40 as well. Persons above 70 years of age can also file suits on all grounds, except failure to hire.
Moreover, while the federal Americans with Disabilities Act requires an individual to have a substantial limitation of a life activity, it is not so with the state laws. Therefore, the state law provides a better protection for employees. It is better to consult a lawyer specializing in the state laws to handle your case.
If you think there is a violation to any of these, it is wise to file a complaint immediately. You can file it at the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) or the agency operated by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, before you take up the case with either, it is important to talk to a legal practitioner.
The federal agency would only take up your case if your employer employs more than 15 individuals at work. Otherwise, you have to take up the case with the DCR. The DCR has a deadline of 180 days, from the date of the discriminatory incident, for filing. The EEOC provides 300 days, from the date of the incident, for you to file.
Discussing the matter with a discrimination lawyer New Jersey before you take any step is imperative. If the DCR finds that there is -no cause’ for the complaint, you may never be able to take the case to court. You would need to appeal the determination, which would mean a waste of the precious time.
New Jersey laws allow an employee to file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date of the incident. It is, therefore, necessary to consult a discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.
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