Employment discrimination is illegal under federal and New Jersey law. If you have been denied employment or treated unfairly because of your membership in a legally protected category (e.g. race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation) you have a right to file a workplace discrimination claim.
By working with an experienced employment discrimination attorney, you can determine whether filing a claim or a lawsuit is the best option. That’s where Castronovo & McKinney, LLC comes in. We have extensive experience representing employees in administrative, arbitration, and court proceedings and a proven history of achieving positive outcomes. Contact us today for a consultation.
What Is Unlawful Discrimination in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) makes it illegal for all employers in the state to discriminate against job applicants and employees based on protected characteristics such as:
- Religious creed
- National origin
- Physical or mental disability
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- AIDS or HIV status
- Genetic information
- Military service
Employment discrimination can occur in several ways, including:
- Refusing to hire a job applicant
- Denying a promotion to a female employee in favor of a less-qualified male employee
- Refusing to allow a gay employee to
- Terminating an employee because of a disability
- Discriminating against an employee or candidate in pay or any other term or benefit of employment
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you based on your protected status, trust Castronovo & McKinney to help you explore your options and choose the best course of action.
How Do I File a Discrimination Claim in New Jersey?
You can file a workplace discrimination claim either with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Under a work-sharing agreement, the two agencies cooperate on discrimination and harassment claims. Filing a claim with both is unnecessary as long as you request one agency to cross-file your claim with the other.
Notably, the NJLAD covers all employers, regardless of the number of employees, while federal antidiscrimination laws generally apply to employers with 15 or more employers. Before filing a lawsuit under federal law, you must file a claim with the EEOC. The agency may issue a right-to-sue letter if it cannot resolve the complaint through its conciliation process.
As such, you may prefer to file your claim with the DCR, but you are not required to do so to file a discrimination lawsuit in state court. You should know that if the DCR finds no probable cause – the evidence does not support your discrimination claim – you cannot take further legal action in court. Instead, you must appeal the DCR’s determination.
Finally, there are strict time limits for filing an employment discrimination claim with the DCR: within 180 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory conduct. By contrast, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit alleging discrimination under the NJLAD is two years.
If you are considering filing an employment discrimination claim with the DCR, we can help you navigate the process and protect your rights. If the DCR cannot resolve the matter, we will determine whether you have a strong discrimination case that warrants filing a lawsuit.
How Can I Pursue a Discrimination Claim in the New Jersey Courts?
Given the challenges and time constraints of pursuing an administrative claim with the EEOC or DCR, filing an employment discrimination lawsuit in federal court may be your best option. But you face an uphill battle because employers know how to disguise their illegal and discriminatory motives as legitimate employment decisions.
The best way to protect your rights is to work with the experienced employment lawyers at Castronovo & McKinney, LLC. We know how to level the playing field and hold employers accountable. Let us handle all the details of your claim, including:
- Conducting a thorough investigation
- Obtaining and reviewing your personal file and performance reviews
- Identifying and interviewing witnesses, including supervisors and coworkers
- Determining whether your employer has a history of discrimination
- Handle all communications with your employer and their attorneys
While we prefer to settle employment discrimination lawsuits through negotiations, we prepare each case for trial to give our clients an advantage at the bargaining table. If your employer fails to make a fair settlement offer, we will take them to court. Above all, we will fight to help you recover damages such as:
- Lost wages – back pay and front pay (if you were wrongful terminated)
- Compensatory damages for emotional distress
- Reputational harm
- Punitive damages to punish your employer’s misconduct
- Attorney fees and court costs
We believe that no one should put up with discrimination in the workplace and will protect your rights.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Employment Discrimination Attorney
If you have suffered discrimination in your workplace, we will make the law work for you. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.
Castronovo & McKinney, LLC helps clients with their employment discrimination claims throughout New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, and Morris County as well as the cities Hackensack, Newark, New Brunswick, and Morristown.