Despite decades of fighting for civil rights, the workplace remains a hotspot for discrimination across New Jersey. From race and religion to gender and disability, workplace discrimination is not just wrong but also illegal.
Have you experienced disability discrimination in the workplace? NJ Employment Lawyers, LLC is dedicated to defending civil rights across the state. Contact our team of passionate attorneys for help navigating discrimination claims against your employer and holding them accountable for their heinous actions.
What is disability discrimination?
Under New Jersey law, a person with a disability is defined as anyone who suffers from an impairment that substantially limits one or more daily activities, such as:
Although thousands of New Jersey residents have a disability, in many cases, these conditions don’t preclude them from carrying out daily work activities. Federal and state protections help ensure that vulnerable community members have the same rights as everyone else, especially in the workplace.
Disability discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes. Some common examples include:
- Refusing to hire someone because of their disability
- Paying someone less because of their disability
- Firing someone due to their disability
- Denying someone a promotion or other job opportunities
- Harassing or bullying someone because of a medical condition
- Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations
New Jersey law is on your side when an employer engages in discriminatory practices. Through a formal claim or a lawsuit, you can ensure that the party that discriminated against you is held accountable.
What are reasonable accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are changes or adjustments in the workplace that allow disabled people to perform their essential duties.
Some common examples of reasonable accommodation in the workplace include:
- Installing a wheelchair ramp
- Providing an interpreter
- Modifying work hours or duties as needed
- Using assistive technology or equipment
- Allowing an employee to work from home
Legally, employers must provide reasonable accommodations as long as these accommodations don’t impose any undue hardships. Failure to do so comes with profound legal implications and is a serious example of discrimination.
Legal Protections Against Disability Discrimination in New Jersey
For New Jersey residents, several laws exist that help establish protections against workplace discrimination and other civil rights violations.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD)
The NJLAD is the state’s most comprehensive anti-discrimination mandate for employment, housing, and social services. It provides a variety of legal remedies for New Jersey residents who experience discrimination, including compensatory and punitive damages, injunctions, and attorney’s fees.
The law also protects workers against illegal retaliation on behalf of disgruntled employers. Notably, the NJLAD applies to employers with 15 or more workers and follows most of the same protections as the federal Civil Rights Act, with a few modifications and enhancements.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA is a set of federal laws active since 1990. These federal protections are designed to prohibit disability discrimination in employment, transportation, and housing. Like the NJLAD, the ADA is intended to deter employers from discriminating against individuals and requires them to provide reasonable accommodations.
Steps to Take Against Workplace Discrimination
If you’ve suffered workplace discrimination in New Jersey, hold your employer accountable for their heinous behavior. Every case of civil rights violations is unique, and you’ll need to adapt the process to fit your situation. However, a few critical steps can help ensure your claim is successful.
Documenting Acts of Discrimination
Evidence is vital in any discrimination claim or lawsuit. Maintain a record of the discrimination you’ve suffered. This may include photos, videos, emails, text messages, a journal, and physical evidence.
Reporting the Discrimination
Each workplace may have different internal policies for reporting and dealing with discrimination. Depending on the situation, you may need to contact your human resources department or discuss the case with your immediate supervisor.
It’s wise to report violations with your employer, as this helps establish additional proof and ensures that multiple people were made aware of the situation.
Filing a Formal Complaint
The most effective way to address disability discrimination is through a formal complaint. In New Jersey, you can file a claim with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or a federal claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Both agencies are tasked with investigating discriminatory acts and providing relief for victims, such as disciplinary actions against employers.
However, you may also file a civil lawsuit in superior court.
Talk to a New Jersey Employment Rights Attorney
A dedicated workplace discrimination attorney can help you understand your rights, evaluate your disability violations, and represent you in negotiations and formal proceedings.
Discrimination cases are serious matters, and the law can help you hold employers accountable for their actions. Whether you file a complaint with the state or proceed with a lawsuit, our attorneys are ready to fight for your rights.
Connect with NJ Employment Lawyers. LLC today to learn more about filing a discrimination claim against your employer.