Getting Help: Reporting Workplace Discrimination In New Jersey

Workplace discrimination is serious – but it’s also tough to handle. For employees who have either been victim to acts of discrimination, the challenge can be knowing the proper steps to ensure compensation, restoration, and justice. In New Jersey, employers are guaranteed both protection from discrimination and a framework through which to pursue their claim.

Legal Protections

Before you file a claim, it’s critical to understand what constitutes employment discrimination. Under New Jersey State Law, employers are barred from discriminating against employees or prospective employees based on race, age, nationality, sex, pregnancy and a host of other categorizations.

Equally important is understanding what counts as discriminatory behavior in NJ. While every case is unique, employers are legally prevented from discriminating with respect to hiring, promotion, salary determinations, and termination – as well as several other common workplace actions.

State vs. Federal Agencies

As a part of the process outlined by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), victimized employees can either take their complaint to the state-run New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In terms of deciding where to file, there a few things to keep in mind.

DCR

– Covers workplaces of all sizes
– 180 day filing deadline
– Able to request “cross-filing” with EEOC

EEOC

– Only covers workplaces with more than 15 employees
– 300 day filing deadline
– Able to re quest “cross-filing” with EEOC

What Happens Next?

Regardless of where you ultimately decide to take your specific claim, the process at both agencies continues along a similar track. In some cases, you may able to avoid a legal case or court appearance altogether.

In general, the potential outcomes through both agencies are as follows.

DCR

– Guided mediation between employer and employee
– Conciliation
– Hearing through the Office of Administrative Law

More information about the CDR-specific process can found here. In some cases, the CDR may also issue a ruling of “no cause” – akin to a rejection of your claim.

EEOC

Overall, the federal-level process is like the one followed by the New Jersey CDR office – albeit with a few key differences.

– Guided mediation between employer and employee
– Ask the employer to respond to your claim – An investigator will then gather information and may send you a “Notice of Right to Sue” or the EEOC may decide to pursue its own lawsuit against the employer.
– Offer dismissal on the grounds of jurisdiction or merit

Finally, even if one or both agencies reject your claim of discrimination, a well-qualified attorney may be able to assist with an appeal.

Representation You Can Trust

When it comes to instances of workplace discrimination, you need a trusted and knowledgeable ally on your side. With over 30 years of employment law experience and a dedication to protecting worker’s rights, attorney David H. Kaplan can help you obtain justice. To get started with a consultation, contact the office today.

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