What is the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (or “NJLAD”) is a New Jersey state law that applies to all employers in New Jersey (except for certain federal employers).
This means that even out-of-state companies are subject to NJLAD, so long as they have employees who work in New Jersey. If you want to know whether the NJLAD applies to you and your employer, a New Jersey workers’ rights lawyer can help.
The NJLAD, which is found at Sections 10:5-1 to 10:5-49 of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes, is similar to some of the federal protections against discrimination for employees. These federal laws include Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (or “PDA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (or “ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (or “ADA”).
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is broader than federal workplace protections in several ways that benefit New Jersey workers. First, NJLAD applies to companies regardless of size. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the ADA only apply to companies with more than 15 employees (or more than 20 employees in the case of the ADEA).
Second, the protections for employees under the NJLAD tend to be broader in scope than the anti-discrimination provisions of federal law. This means that you may have a case against your employer for discrimination even if the federal anti-discrimination laws do not apply.
Third, you are not required to bring a case before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights before filing a lawsuit in a New Jersey court based on the NJLAD.
Finally, while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act limits the amount of damages a plaintiff can receive in an employment discrimination lawsuit, the NJLAD does not set a cap on recovery of compensatory or punitive damages.
What Types of Discrimination Are Covered by NJLAD?
Under the NJLAD, an employer cannot refuse to hire or employ, fire, or otherwise discriminate against an individual in compensation or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on the individual’s protected status.
This means that if your employer subjected you to discriminatory acts or harassment based on any of the protected statuses discussed below, you may have a workplace discrimination claim against your employer.
What is a Protected Status Under the NJLAD?
A “protected status” is a characteristic that is common to a group of people. Sometimes referred to as a “protected class,” these characteristics have historically led to people having a hard time obtaining or maintaining employment. As society has evolved over time, courts and legislatures have grown to recognize more types of protected classes.
The NJLAD prohibits discriminatory conduct or harassment by employers on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, familial status, relationship status (including marital, domestic partnership, or civil union status), and military service.
In some cases, the NJLAD prohibits discrimination against atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information (including the refusal to participate in genetic testing or provide genetic information), and age (so long as you are over the age of 18).
Do I have a Case Against My Employer for
The NJLAD and workplace discrimination laws are complex, and only an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer can determine whether these laws apply to your case.
The workers’ rights attorneys at Console Mattiacci Law have years of experience fighting for the rights of New Jersey employees who have suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace, and have recently secured several multi-million dollar verdicts for their clients. To speak with a discrimination lawyer about your case, call Console Mattiacci Law at 215-545-7676.