What Is Marital Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employees and job applicants still face discrimination often, despite some positive changes over the past decades. One of the less-talked-about kinds is marital discrimination in the workplace. This is when the reason for the unfair treatment is based on marital or familial status. It can overlap with other protected categories like pregnancy, gender, religion, and race. Here is what you need to know about workplace marital discrimination.

This type of discrimination can happen to applicants and employees who are single or married, with or without children. Marital discrimination also happens to people who are unmarried and have one or more children. Essentially, the employer does one of the following because of the employee’s marital or parental status:

  • Denies employment, advancement opportunities, and promotions.
  • Harasses them.
  • Offers lower benefits.
  • Other negative actions, like unfounded disciplinary actions.
  • Pays them less than other employees with the same job responsibilities.

The key to proving employer discrimination is to show that the employer treated you differently than other employees engaging in the same behavior because of your marital or parental status.

Are There Federal or State Laws That Prohibit Marital Status Discrimination?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination but does not specifically mention marital or parental status. The Civil Service Reform Act bans it only for federal job applicants and employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides federal protections for the main discrimination categories, which can also protect against marital and parental discrimination in some cases.

Some states also prohibit marital discrimination. New Jersey does not have state laws prohibiting this kind of employer behavior. Still, there may be a legal option for pursuing this kind of claim, and a workplace discrimination lawyer may be able to offer a solution.

Examples of Marital Discrimination

One example of marital discrimination might be a wife and husband who work for the same employer. The wife applies for a promotion but is denied because the company does not want her to supervise her husband. If the company has anti-nepotism policies, though, the wife might not have legal ground to stand on.

Another might be an employer being denied a job because they are unmarried and pregnant; a worker could also be fired for marrying a same-sex partner. Employees can also be targeted for having caregiving responsibilities outside of work. It is also not unusual for newly married female employees to be denied promotions when employers think these workers will have children soon, making them less available to work.

Our South Jersey Workplace Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Are Experienced With Marital and Parental Discrimination Cases

Employers who discriminate against employees because of their marital and parental statuses can be held accountable. Contact our South Jersey workplace discrimination lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC to determine if your rights have been violated. We offer free consultations. Call 856-235-7075 or complete our online form. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.