New Jersey Nationality Discrimination

New Jersey Nationality Discrimination

New Jersey Lawyers Representing Victims of Nationality Discrimination

If you are being treated differently at your New Jersey workplace because you're not American or you weren't born here, you may be facing national origin or nationality discrimination. For example, if your coworkers have called you a terrorist or your supervisor has made offensive comments about people from India and Mexico stealing American jobs, this may be national origin discrimination. You should not have to work in an environment where you are subjected to prejudice or unfair stereotypes because of you nationality. At Phillips & Associates, our experienced New Jersey employment discrimination attorneys may be able to investigate your situation and determine whether there is a viable claim. You may be able to recover damages under either federal or state law if you are a victim of nationality discrimination.

Federal Law on Nationality Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the federal law that prohibits this type of discrimination, but it only covers companies that have 15 or more employees. Under Title VII, no employer may take an adverse employment action against an employee based on his or her national origin or nationality (or your perceived nationality). Adverse employment actions could include choosing not to hire a job applicant, failing to provide a promotion, taking away fringe benefits, permitting coworker harassment of an employee or segregating an employee. Any of these actions done because an employee is of a particular nationality are likely illegal.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Prohibits Nationality Discrimination

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) also prohibits nationality or perceived nationality discrimination, but it protects employees in smaller companies as well. You are protected based on your perceived national origin or ethnicity as well, meaning that even if your employer is wrong about what your national origin is, you are protected from this type of discrimination or harassment. For example, if you are Turkish, but your boss fails to promote you because he thinks you're Persian, you are protected under this law.

Damages Available for Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination or harassment can be especially painful when there are only a couple of employees, and all of them have banded together to harass you. Damages you may be able to recover under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination include front pay, back pain, compensatory damages, reinstatement, and possibly punitive damages, if the behavior is especially egregious. While Title VII has caps on damages based on the number of employees of the company, there are no caps on cases brought under the New Jersey law.

Complaints, Grievance Procedure, and Retaliation

Your employer should have a written policy against unlawful workplace discrimination and harassment. There may be a copy in your employment handbook, and this may give you a grievance procedure as well. You should follow this procedure, which may include reporting what happened to HR in writing. Your employer may be able to respond effectively to what has happened to you, and you should provide it with that opportunity. It is common for workers to worry that they will be retaliated against. While this is a legitimate fear, retaliation is also prohibited, and even if you turn out to be wrong about discrimination or harassment, you may be able to recover damages for retaliation.

Contact New Jersey Lawyers Experienced in Fighting Nationality Discrimination

To sue for nationality discrimination, you'll need to prove that disparate treatment was motivated by your actual or perceived national origin. Proof may be based on discriminatory statements about your nationality. You should write down any such statements as they happen. The New Jersey employment discrimination attorneys of Phillips & Associates can provide knowledgeable representation. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or via our online form. We represent clients in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties.


100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor 

Princeton, NJ 08540 

Tel: (866) 229-9441

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