Though there has been substantial progress in the past few decades to address gender discrimination at work, some employers still engage in illegal practices. Fortunately, federal and state laws protect workers against gender-based discrimination and hold the responsible parties accountable.
If you’ve suffered gender discrimination in New Jersey, you have a few options to move forward with a formal complaint. How you’ll proceed will largely depend on the details of your situation.
One of the most important tasks you’ll have to do is gather the appropriate evidence to help support your claim.
Legal Protections Against Gender Discrimination
In New Jersey, gender discrimination is prohibited under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). This law makes it illegal for an employer to harass or deny you rights or privileges based on gender identity.
Additionally, Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishes that no person shall be treated differently due to their gender.
In short, employers are prohibited from engaging in gender discrimination in any aspect of an employment relationship, including:
- Awarding job benefits
If you were subject to gender-based bias or harassment at work, you can report these actions to state and federal agencies and even file a lawsuit in New Jersey courts.
Different Types of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Gender discrimination can present itself in many ways. Some of the most common types of gender discrimination include:
Employers sometimes refuse to hire someone based on gender stereotypes. These employers may have an implicit bias that a certain gender can fulfill a job’s duties better than another.
Employers should never use gender as a means to determine qualification for employment or use gender as a reason to fire someone. These practices are illegal.
Sexual harassment, including unwanted sexual advances, behaviors, and comments, can be classified as a form of gender discrimination.
Harassment creates a hostile work environment, especially when multiple people target a colleague because of their gender.
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Bias
Employees can experience harassment based on their sexual orientation or preferred gender identity. Any discriminatory behavior that applies to gender or sexual orientation, such as bullying, can create a hostile work environment.
Proving a Gender Discrimination Case
Every case of gender discrimination will present unique challenges. If you plan to file a complaint, evidence of the discrimination you experienced will be essential.
You should write down a detailed account of the incident as soon as it occurs. If the harassment involves recurring behavior, you can keep a written log to describe each event in detail.
If there are witnesses to your discrimination, you should obtain testimonies from them. Depending on how you pursue your claim, witnesses can provide written accounts to state or local agencies or testify in court when you file a lawsuit.
Witnesses can corroborate the discrimination you suffered and give your claim more weight.
If you have any physical evidence, you’ll need to present it to support your discrimination complaint. Such evidence can include:
- Text messages
Physical evidence is not always required, and in many cases of discrimination, there won’t be any to collect.
A skilled attorney may help uncover additional evidence, such as employment records and financial documents, to further establish that the discrimination occurred.
Facing gender discrimination in New Jersey?
If you’ve been the victim of gender discrimination, NJ Employment Lawyers can help fight for your rights. Each dedicated employment law attorney at our firm represents discrimination cases throughout New Jersey.
Contact us today for a free consultation.