NJ Employment Law Attorneys Fight to Protect You Against Sex Discrimination in the Workplace
For years, women have run up against a “glass ceiling” in the workplace. This problem has been exacerbated by the prevalence of sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported more than 30,000 sex discrimination claims in 2012. Sex discrimination can seriously inhibit a person’s ability to earn a living. Worse yet, sex discrimination can be humiliating and degrading.
Although the majority of sex discrimination claims involve men discriminating against women, reverse discrimination is not unheard of. As a result, male workers may also file claims if they are treated differently than other employees. The sad truth is that anyone can be the victim of gender discrimination.
If you are an employee who feels that you have been the victim of sex discrimination in the workplace, you need to ensure that your rights are protected by calling an experienced employment discrimination lawyer today.
The Law Prohibits Discriminatory Treatment on the Basis of Gender
Sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfavorably because of his or her gender. Sex discrimination can also occur when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfavorably because of personal characteristics that are commonly associated with a particular sex.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids sex discrimination in any aspect of employment. NJ’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is a bit more specific, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of sex, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The federal and state protections apply to all aspects of employment, including:
- Hiring decisions
- Firing decisions
- Promotions and demotions
- Disciplinary actions
- Terms, conditions, or privileges of employment: An employer may not allocate job assignments or training opportunities on the basis of sex.
Federal and state laws also explicitly protect employees against sexual harassment. An employer cannot create or allow a work environment that is hostile and abusive because of an employee’s gender. An employer has an obligation to prevent supervisors and employees from making an employee feel uncomfortable because of his or her gender.
Anti-discrimination laws also protect employees against gender discrimination. An employee may not be discriminated against because he or she fails to conform to gender stereotypes. These protections typically apply to sexual orientation discrimination. In New Jersey, employers may not discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s real or perceived sexual orientation.
Federal and state laws also prohibit retaliation against an employee who raises a sex discrimination claim or supports the claim of another person.
Under federal law, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires employers to allow workers who are new parents to take 12 weeks of leave to care for the child. When the employee returns from leave, the employee should be restored to his or her original job or an equivalent job. NJ law also protects new parents with the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), which requires employers to grant employees time off from work in connection with the birth of a child. The protections afforded by both the FMLA and the NJFLA apply to biological parents, foster parents, and adoptive parents.
Free, Confidential Consultation with an Experienced Edison, Brick, & Freehold, NJ Gender Discrimination Attorney
If your employer has treated you differently from other workers based on your gender, an experienced anti-discrimination attorney who focuses on employment law can help you. The potential remedies include:
- Being placed back into the job you were unfairly denied
- Recovering income that was lost due to the sex discrimination
- Receiving employee benefits that you were denied because of your gender
- Getting monetary damages for pain, humiliation, and emotional suffering
- Reimbursement for reasonable attorney’s fees and for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of pursuing the complaint
Timing matters. A complaint must be filed with the NJ Division on Civil Rights within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. You have a limited time in which to file a sex discrimination claim, so it is important that you contact an attorney immediately.
The experienced employment discrimination attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., have over 35 years of experience serving clients throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. During that time, we’ve earned more than $400 million in verdicts and settlements in a broad range of cases, including gender discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, and age discrimination. If you believe that your rights under NJ or federal law have been violated, call us or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation at our Brick, NJ office.