As measured by median household income, Middlesex County is ranked as having the 143rd-highest per capita income in the U.S. There are five major hospitals in Middlesex County. The county’s major employers include Rutgers University, Merrill Lynch & Company, Bristol Myers Squibb, Aetna, JFK Medical Center, Pathmark, Home Depot, and Amerada Hess Corporation. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights in the workplace, you should consult the experienced Middlesex County employment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.Laws Protecting Employee Rights
Employers must abide by numerous federal and state laws pertaining to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, employment contracts, severance agreements, medical leave rights, unpaid commissions, and other issues. Employers that fail to abide by these laws can cause significant harm to their employees. Often, an employer has substantially more resources than an employee who has been harmed. Phillips & Associates is dedicated to fighting for employees who have been harmed by their employers’ violations of employment laws.
In New Jersey, discrimination on the basis of a wide range of protected characteristics is prohibited. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), which is found at Sections 10:5-1 to 10:5-49 of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes, is an anti-discrimination law that covers the following protected classes: color, race, creed, nationality and national origin, ancestry, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, age, atypical hereditary cellular traits, genetic information, perceived disability or actual disability, military service, genetic information, and AIDS or HIV status. Your employer is not supposed to make adverse employment decisions against you based on your having one or more of these protected characteristics. An employment attorney in Middlesex County can help you hold your employer accountable for a violation.
Employment discrimination is prohibited in all phases of employment from interviewing and hiring to termination. Moreover, under the NJLAD, you should not face retaliation for exercising your protected rights (ie., complaining of harassment or discrimination)or for providing testimony in someone else’s discrimination case. In Middlesex County, all employees other than federal employees are protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. However, independent contractors are usually not covered. Sometimes a dispute arises over whether an employer has misclassified an employee as an independent contractor rather than a regular employee.Forms of Discrimination
Employees may face discrimination in many different contexts. For example, if you were denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability, you may have a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and/or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Similarly, if your employer fails to promote you simply because you are pregnant, you may have a pregnancy discrimination claim to pursue under the NJLAD or the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Even more blatant, if your coworkers repeatedly call you slurs because you are gay, our Middlesex County employment attorneys can help you pursue a claim of sexual orientation harassment.
Generally, there is greater protection for workers under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination than under federal laws. The state law tends to provide broader protections for employees than do federal anti-discrimination laws. Unlike federal law, which requires you to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing in federal court, you do not need to file a charge with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights before filing your claims in state court. Additionally, there are caps on damages under the federal laws enforced by the EEOC, but there is no cap on damages under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. However, each fact pattern is different, and there may be situations in which it is prudent to pursue your claims under federal law rather than state law. You should consult an attorney about your unique situation.Discuss Your Case with an Employment Attorney
Employers have significantly more power than their employees in most cases. If you believe that you were a victim of workplace misconduct, you should contact Phillips & Associates. Our employment lawyers fight for Middlesex County employees who have suffered harm on the job. Our firm can be reached at (609) 436-9087 or through our online form.