Gender Discrimination Is Not Tolerated in New Jersey
New Jersey law does not tolerate you being treated unfairly or differently in the workplace because of your gender, whether you are a woman or man. This means all sexes must be treated equally at work when it comes to hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions, pay, benefits, and discipline. Regardless if you are a man or woman, Mashel Law will fight to enforce your rights against employers who demonstrate a bias against women or men.
Stereotypical views regarding gender can cause supervisors to engage in the illegal practice of passing a person over for promotion due to gender. While this can happen to both genders, supervisors most often pass over women for promotion due to preconceived notions about their roles and abilities. For example, a police chief may repeatedly pass over a female policewomen for promotion, due to a belief that men inherently perform better in these positions. Similarly, supervisors may pass over qualified males for promotions in industries that employ a high percentage of women compared to men, such as nursing, teaching, or child care.
Women who have young children at home may experience trouble finding a job or advancing in a company due to child care responsibilities. Although the law prohibits a prospective employer from explicitly asking about your family responsibilities during an interview, it often comes out through subtle questioning. This may influence an employer to pass over a qualified female candidate if it is believed that the female applicant will be conflicted between her home and job responsibilities.
Women who are stereotyped at work often are victims of discrimination. It is well documented that women are unlawfully discriminated by receiving less pay for doing the same or similar work as their male counterparts. Such unequal pay violates federal and New Jersey law. Similarly, New Jersey law bans discrimination against women in the workplace due to pregnancy or caregiver status, gender bias may lead managers to withhold promotions from women, especially pregnant or care-giving employees because of a misguided concern that mothers won't put work first or are not as driven or dependable at work. Some managers or supervisors may be unaccommodating to women who need to attend to child care issues or emergencies. Gender stereotypes also lead some men to harass women in the workplace.
Remedies for gender (sex) discrimination back pay and/or front pay damages compensatory damages for emotional stress. Moreover, an employer may be held liable for punitive damages in the event of actual participation by upper management or willful indifference. Additionally, for a claim brought under LAD, the prevailing party plaintiff may be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.
Although New Jersey already has a law prohibiting discrimination in pay based on sex under N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.2, New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act which took effect on July 1, 2018 goes even further and extends to equal pay protections to all protected classifications of sex, race/ color, national origin/ancestry, religion/creed, disability, age, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(a). The Equal Pay Act also has a six (6) year statute of limitations, where LAD only has a two (2) year statute of limitations. Under the new law a discriminatory compensation decision or other employment practice that is unlawful under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination occurs each time that compensation is paid in furtherance of that discriminatory decision or practice – effectively making each paycheck another instance of discrimination.
If you believe you have been or are currently being treated differently by your employer because of your gender (sex), don’t hesitate to call the lawyers at Mashel Law (732) 536-6161 or fill out the contact form on this page. Mashel Law located in Marlboro, New Jersey, is dedicated exclusively to protecting the rights of employees.