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New Jersey Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Helping New Jersey Employees Combat Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In New Jersey, it is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you due to your sexual orientation. Discrimination can include any adverse employment action including termination, layoffs, demotion, failure to hire, and harassment. For example, your sexual orientation should not be a factor in whether you receive a bonus or whether you get a bigger raise. An employer cannot refuse to hire a worker because he or she is gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Likewise your gender identity or expression as a transgender or transsexual person cannot be the basis of employment decisions. At Phillips & Associates, our New Jersey employment discrimination attorneys help employees recover damages for sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.

New Jersey Law Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Although federal law doesn't provide an explicit prohibition against sexual orientation discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is a part of sex and gender discrimination under Title VII.

The Law Against Discrimination only protects employees, not independent contractors. However, the court evaluates the facts to determine whether someone is truly an independent contractor or an employee. Sometimes employers misclassify their workers, either inadvertently or intentionally to avoid certain laws, such as anti-discrimination laws and laws related to fair wages and workers' compensation that apply only to employees.

The law against sexual orientation discrimination can be applied equally to men, women, and transgender employees. Sexual orientations can include heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. The sexual orientation of a transgender person, or person with a nonconforming gender identity or expression is also protected. Gender identity or gender expression is a separate protected category, and in some cases discrimination against an individual may be violate prohibitions against both sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination. The laws protect even perceived sexual orientation, so you are protected even if your actual sexual orientation does not match that for which you are being discriminated.

Workplace Harassment of LGBT Individuals is Prohibited

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees may face hostile work environment in addition to other forms of discrimination. Hostile work environment is a form of sexual harassment made up of actions, gestures or words that would make the environment hostile or offensive to a reasonable employee of the same sexual orientation. For example, if your supervisor uses homophobic slurs on a regular basis while talking to you, this may be considered hostile work environment. Similarly, if a coworker sends you pornographic pictures every week to taunt you about your sexual orientation, and your manager does nothing about it when you tell her, this may be a hostile work environment.

You May Be Entitled to Damages for Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Both the employer and an individual supervisor can be held liable for sexual orientation discrimination. Damages that may be recovered from an employer include back pay, front pay, compensatory damages for emotional distress or humiliation, punitive damages, and interest on lost wages. Different time limitations apply to your claim, depending on if you file a federal or state claim. In New Jersey, you can bring a lawsuit in court within 2 years from the date of the discrimination.

Reach Out to New Jersey Sex Discrimination Attorneys

Your employer is not entitled to single you out because of your sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. The New Jersey employment discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates may be able to file a lawsuit to help you recover damages. Contact us at (866) 475-4267 or through our online system. We help clients in Passaic, Essex, Union, Bergen, Morris, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties.

100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: (866) 475-4267

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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