New Jersey EEOC
At Phillips & Associates, we understand how difficult it may be for employees to face discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in the workplace. Federal law prohibits employers of a certain size from taking adverse employment actions against employees on the basis of certain characteristics, such as Race and Sex. If you are thinking about suing in federal court, you should be aware that there are certain steps that you must take, including filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Our New Jersey EEOC attorneys may be able to help you with your case even before you file a charge.Understanding the Role of the EEOC
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency in charge of enforcing many federal anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Each of these laws sets forth protected characteristics of individuals. These are characteristics that may not be used as a basis for an employer's adverse employment decision with regard to job applicants or employees.
For example, Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, color, sex, or religion. It also requires employers to accommodate sincerely held religious practices, unless providing an accommodation would present an undue hardship for the employer. The PDA is an amendment to Title VII that prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.
Discrimination in the context of anti-discrimination laws may include any type of adverse decision, including a failure to hire, a demotion, a failure to provide benefits, a failure to provide training, and a termination or firing. It may also include harassment. For example, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII. The ADA prohibits harassment against individuals with qualifying disabilities.
The anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC require workers to file a charge with the EEOC as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit. You have a limited window of time within which to do this, and our EEOC lawyers can guide New Jersey residents through the process. Filing a charge with the EEOC is considered a protected activity. Your employer should not retaliate against you if you have a complaint about discrimination. Retaliation includes any punitive action taken because a worker complains about discrimination, files a charge of discrimination, or participates in an investigation of discrimination.
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing your own EEOC charge against an employer or for providing evidence in an investigation of another person's EEOC charge. For example, if you are 60 years old and believe that you were a victim of age discrimination in a decision about promotions, it is unlawful for your employer to terminate you because you filed a charge alleging an ADEA violation with the EEOC.
Other than the Equal Pay Act, the laws enforced by the EEOC require you to file a charge of discrimination against your employer with the EEOC if you have been a victim of discrimination based on a protected characteristic. When you file a charge, the EEOC investigates. You may be asked to participate in mediation with the employer. Sometimes an investigator finds no legal violations, and then a Notice of Right to Sue is issued to you. This permits you to file a lawsuit. You should not assume that you do not have a claim because there was no legal violation found by the EEOC. It is best to consult an attorney about whether you may have a claim.Consult an Experienced EEOC Attorney in New Jersey
New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state, but as of 2015, its population was about nine million. If you have been subject to unlawful discrimination, retaliation, or harassment in your workplace, the experienced New Jersey EEOC lawyers at Phillips & Associates may be able to help. Contact us at (609) 436-9087 or through our online form to set up a free appointment with an employment attorney. We fight workplace misconduct in cities such as Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington and Camden Counties.