Marital status discrimination should be a thing of the past in New Jersey. Whether you are married, single, divorced, separated, engaged to be married, or in a same-sex marriage, you have strong legal protection under state and local laws. If you believe you have been treated unfairly or differently based on your marital status, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, LLC.
Our dedicated marital status discrimination attorneys have the skills and experience to protect your rights in arbitration and administrative proceedings as well as in state court. We have a well-earned reputation as dedicated employee advocates and a proven history of achieving positive results through negotiation and litigation.
Rest assured, we will work in your best interests at all times and stand by your every step of the way. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to get started.
Fighting Marital Status Discrimination in New Jersey Workplaces
The first thing to know is that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), unlike federal law, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job candidates based on marital status, which is considered a “protected characteristic.”
This means that employers cannot treat employees differently or make employment decisions based on marital status. Discrimination includes any adverse employment action against an employee, such as:
- Failure to hire
- Refusal to promote
- Reassignment or demotion
Marital status discrimination also includes any adverse action against:
- Employees based on their responsibilities involving care for a spouse
- Mothers and fathers involved in child-rearing (married or unmarried)
- Workers with disabled spouses
In the past, employers would rely on an employee’s marital status to gauge his or her commitment to the job. For example, employers may have assumed that a woman with children would be more committed to her children than working, or that a man with a family would need a job more than a single man would.
The LAD is designed to prevent employers from unfairly basing their decisions on these inaccurate stereotypes and assumptions. Although the law does not clearly define “marital status,” the courts have held that it includes those who are single, married, or in transition from one state to another.
Whether you were denied a promotion because you are single in favor of a married coworker, an unmarried coworker was promoted ahead of you, or you earn less than married coworkers because your boss believes you have no family responsibilities, it takes an experienced New Jersey marital discrimination attorney to protect your rights.
What Else You Need To Know About Marital Discrimination in New Jersey
It is important to note that LAD’s prohibition against marital status-based discrimination does not preclude employers from establishing anti-nepotism policies that permit them to terminate or refuse to hire employees based upon their family relationship – including marriage – to a co-worker.
In addition, federal equal employment opportunity laws do not provide legal protections against marital discrimination. However, you may have protection as a caregiver as mentioned above under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as the LAD. For example, if you were fired and believe it was because you took FMLA mandated leave, you may be able to take legal action. It is important to note that the FMLA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees while New Jersey state law applies to all employers, regardless of company size.
The LAD also allows you to file a lawsuit alleging marital status discrimination without filing an administrative complaint first. In any event, to have a valid claim, you must be able to show that:
- You are a member of a protected class (e.g. married, single, engaged, separated, divorced)
- You were performing your job at a level that met your employer’s legitimate expectations
- You were subjected to adverse employment action such as termination, demotion, suspension, failure to hire, failure to promote
Our marital discrimination attorneys know how to prove the elements of marital status discrimination and will fight to protect your employment rights and your future. We are well-equipped to handle administrative proceedings before the state Division of Civil Rights or to try cases in state court. Above all, we will work to achieve the best possible outcome, whether through negotiation, arbitration, or litigation.
The available remedies in a successful marital discrimination claim include:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Compensatory damages (e.g. emotional distress)
- Punitive damages
- Attorneys’ fees and costs
Trust our legal team to help you obtain just compensation and preserve your reputation.
Representing New Jersey Workers in Marital Status Discrimination Claims
If you believe you have been or are currently being treated differently by your employer because of your marital status, you need the strategic representation Castronovo & McKinney provides. When you become our client, you will have comfort knowing that our experienced employment lawyers are on your side. We never charge a fee and only get paid if we recover for you. Contact us now for a free consultation.