NJLAD and Employer’s Mistaken Perceptions

How the NJLAD Protects You Against Employer’s Mistaken Perceptions

Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), plaintiffs no longer need to prove they are actually members of a protected class to pursue a discrimination case, being perceived as a member of a protected class is sufficient. Now, what exactly is a “protected class”? A protected class refers to your race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, age, etc. For an employer to discriminate based upon any of the things listed above is illegal. Additionally, if an employer assumes that you fit under a specific protected class, and then discriminates against you based on this mistaken perception, you still have grounds to file a discrimination claim. Below we will dive into exactly how the NJLAD protects you against employer’s mistaken perceptions, and what it means to file a mistaken perception claim.

Federal Discrimination Loophole

Luckily, New Jersey is one of the few states that have amended state laws to provide ample protection for those facing discrimination based upon mistaken perceptions. Again, under the NJLAD, it is sufficient enough to be perceived as a member of a protected class in order to file a successful discrimination claim.

Discrimination is Harmful Regardless of Factuality

When employees are dismissed by courts for experiencing misperception discrimination, it is assumed that the employee was not harmed by the discrimination because they are not actually a member of the protected class. Regardless of truth, harassment and discrimination is harmful and taxing to those enduring it. No one wants to go to a workplace where they are uncomfortable because of constant harassment. Furthermore, an employee could lose their job due to mistaken perception discrimination and receive no justice. The goal of anti-discrimination laws is to condemn discrimination, declaring it wrong at its very core. However, the loopholes for misperception discrimination greatly undermine this goal, making it seemingly okay to discriminate as long as it’s not based upon actual characteristics. To protect everyone from the harm of discrimination, theres must be explicit language condemning misperception discrimination as much as discrimination against actual characteristics.

Contact an Attorney

If you have faced misperception discrimination at your workplace, you are protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and should take action as soon as possible. The statute of limitations on discrimination claims is two years. In other words, you must file your discrimination claim within two years of the date you were discriminated against. For guidance through the process of filing a lawsuit and for better results, contact an attorney. David H. Kaplan, attorney at law, has dedicated his 30 year career to helping those who have had their rights infringed upon in a variety of ways. He is passionate about personally crafting winning cases and getting you the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, or to learn more, visit his website.