The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) is a law that protects against discrimination in the workplace and sexual harassment. Federal protections already exist to protect workers against discrimination and harassment in employment, but in the state of New Jersey, this specific law provides additional protections that are of significant benefit to the worker. Federal protections that workers may already be familiar with include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The NJLAD, however, goes beyond these laws and provides employees in New Jersey additional protections. First signed into law in 1945, it was the first ever state civil rights statute in the country. Since then, it has been amended numerous times to include additional workplace and public accommodations. Currently, workers and those using public accommodations are entitled to protection from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, familial status, sex or sexual orientation, genetic traits, or armed forces service.
The NJLAD provides special benefits that cover all New Jersey employees, with the exception of several federal employers, regardless of the size of employer. This is important because both Title VII and the ADA only cover employers with 15 or more employees, leaving many workers at smaller businesses without federal protections under the law. The NJLAD also covers more than just employees; it applies to employment, housing, and public accommodations. The law is also broader in scope than federal laws and may offer victims additional recourse, even if their situation does not fall under the scope of existing federal laws. In the case of disability, the NJLAD expands upon the federal definition of handicap and permits both physical and mental disabilities.
Moreover, the NJLAD prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, which is when a worker experiences unwanted sexual advances, requests, or other forms of conduct that is sexual in nature. The NJLAD protects victims who fear harassment or retaliation.
The NJLAD also allows discriminated or harassed workers to file either a public or private complaint, differing from federal laws. This means that one does not have to bring a case to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights before filing a private lawsuit in court against an employer. The NJLAD also provides victims an additional form of relief when filing a private lawsuit for compensatory or punitive damages for their claim. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act sets a maximum cap on damages, but under the NJLAD, there is no limit.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Fight for Victims of Unlawful Workplace Discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, do not proceed without the guidance of a skilled South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. We have years of experience representing those who have been discriminated against in the workplace or in public services. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County. Complete our online form or call us at 856-235-7075 for a free consultation today.