Essex County

Essex County

Legal Advocacy for Employees in Essex County

Essex County recently had the eighth-highest per capita personal income in New Jersey in 2015. It is home to five public and five private institutions. Employers in Essex County include Cadence Industries, Bradley Pharmaceuticals, ADP, Lincoln Tech, Investors Bank, Jersey Spirits Distilling Co., Schuman Cheese, and Novadel Agene. If you have been affected by violations of your workplace rights, you should consult the Essex County employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Essex County employers are supposed to abide by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), along with federal employment laws. Unfortunately, employers do not always follow these laws, and in most cases, they have significantly more power than do their employees. As an employee, you may be harmed by discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or a failure to provide reasonable accommodations, among other misconduct. It is important to explore your options as soon as you think that you may have a claim.

Understanding the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) applies to all employers, except federal employers, regardless of their size. Accordingly, you may have a claim for damages arising out of discrimination under state law, even if you are not able to bring a claim under federal law. State law provides greater protection against employment discrimination than federal laws do in most cases. Protected characteristics under the state law include sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, race, color, nationality and national origin, creed, ancestry, pregnancy, military service, marital or civil union or domestic partnership status, age, and genetic information, as well as sexual harassment. An employment attorney in Essex County can help you fight back against any of these types of discrimination. There is no cap on damages under state law, as there is under federal law.

You do not need to file a charge with an agency before bringing a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. This is another way in which the state law differs from federal anti-discrimination laws, which require employees to first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before suing in court. The lack of a pre-suit requirement may make it quicker and more straightforward for an employee to secure justice for discrimination.

Reasonable Accommodations

One common workplace violation is a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits disability discrimination. You are entitled to ask for a reasonable accommodation for a physical or mental disability, unless the nature and severity of the disability reasonably stop you from performing your job duties. If you are denied a reasonable accommodation, our Essex County employment attorneys can help you recover damages. An employer’s duty to accommodate is triggered by your asking for help to do your job because of your disability.

Reasonable accommodations may involve acquiring or modifying equipment, altering your work schedule, changing your workspace, or providing a medical leave of absence. When you ask for reasonable accommodation, you should work with your employer in good faith to find a reasonable accommodation that would be appropriate to your disability. The employer should initiate an interactive process to figure out which practices might be adopted to meet your specific needs.

The exception to the rule about reasonable accommodations is that your employer need not provide accommodation if providing the accommodation would involve an undue hardship for the company. To decide whether there is an undue hardship, a court will examine the business’ size, how many employees there are, the facilities and budget, the operations, the cost and nature of the accommodation, and the extent to which providing the accommodation would require that the business waive an essential job requirement.

Retain a Tenacious Employment Lawyer

If you believe that your employer has violated your rights in a workplace in Essex County, contact the employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates and offer a free consultation. Our firm can be reached at (866) 229-9441 or through our online form.

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