Marital Status Discrimination Attorney

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Whether you are single, married, divorced, or somewhere in between, you should feel safe with your marital decisions and not fear discrimination of any sort in your New Jersey workplace. The dedicated employment law team of NJ Employment Lawyers LLC can help you protect that right.

If you or a loved one has experienced marital status discrimination in the workplace, you may have legal options. Our experienced New Jersey employment attorneys can fight to protect your rights. To learn how we can help you, contact NJ Employment Lawyers LLC today to request your consultation. 

What is marital status discrimination?

Marital status refers to a person being single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed. In certain situations, people may experience discrimination in the workplace based on their marital status.

Discrimination based on marital status can look different in many situations, but could include:

  • Getting fired for getting married
  • Missing out on a job opportunity because of your marital status
  • Getting certain employment benefits denied because you are single
  • Getting demoted due to your marital status

In other words, marital status discrimination can mean your ability to get a job, maintain your employment, or get employee benefits is negatively affected simply because of your marital status. You may also experience poor treatment at work. 

Is marital status protected by law?

Generally, marital status is not widely protected under federal law.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the leading federal law concerning employment discrimination. Under this act, which governs most employers in the United States, workplace discrimination is forbidden based on:

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin

Discrimination based on sex has been expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity, but it has not yet spread far enough to cover marital status.

Another important federal law, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, does make discrimination based on marital status illegal. Unfortunately, this act only applies to federal government employees.

Because marital status is not broadly protected by federal law, discrimination based on marital status is usually an issue of state law. 

Marital Status Is Only a Protected Class in Certain States

A protected class refers to a class of people who are protected under the law from discrimination due to certain characteristics. These characteristics are those that you either cannot change about yourself or that you should not be forced into changing. 

In general, marital status is not a protected class. Still, certain states do recognize marital status as a protected class, therefore affording individuals who experience discrimination based on marital status protection.

New Jersey is among the list of states that considers marital status as a protected class.

If you experience discrimination in the states that consider marital status a protected class, you may have the chance to file a complaint with your state’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If this is not enough to resolve your issue, you can proceed to file a discrimination lawsuit in state court.

What to Do if You Experience Marital Status Discrimination in New Jersey

If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace based on your marital status, you can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) within 180 days of the discrimination, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the discrimination. 

Both the DCR and the EEOC cooperate with each other. This means that you only have to file your complaint with one agency and “cross-file” with the other agency for both to have access to your complaint. 

The agency can investigate your discrimination, and based on their findings, may be able to resolve the matter. However, if either agency cannot properly address your issue, you can then file a discrimination lawsuit in court. 

In certain cases, it may be better to file a lawsuit instead of a complaint with a governmental agency. You can file your claim with the New Jersey Superior Court within two years of the discrimination. 

How you pursue resolution and damages depends on your particular situation. You have a right to hire an employment attorney to represent you, and your attorney can determine the best course of action going forward based on your specific circumstances.

Contact an Employment Attorney Who Can Fight for You Today

Discrimination matters can be challenging to navigate, especially when they deal with a complicated issue like marital status. A knowledgeable employment attorney can use their skills and resources to seek a favorable resolution on your behalf.

The legal team at NJ Employment Lawyers LLC has years of combined experience handling employment discrimination cases at both the state and federal levels. We pride ourselves on offering our clients high-quality legal representation and will fight relentlessly to achieve the best outcome possible for you.

If you believe you have suffered discrimination in the workplace based on marital status, our New Jersey employment attorneys are ready to meet you. Contact us to schedule your consultation and discuss how we can protect your rights today.