How to Prove Workplace Discrimination in New Jersey
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination strictly prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Indeed, individuals have the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits practices such as employee terminations, demotions, and the denial of promotions motivated by discriminatory biases.
What Qualifies as Workplace Discrimination?
In New Jersey, workplace discrimination occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against an employee or job applicant based on a protected characteristic. The protected characteristics under New Jersey law include:
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity or Expression
- Genetic Information
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Marital Status
- Civil Union Status
- Domestic Partnership Status
- Military Status.
What is Required to Prove Workplace Discrimination?
In general, wrongful termination claims brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination are analyzed under the three-step burden-shifting test articulated by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973). To establish a prima facie case of discrimination, an individual must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they were a member of a protected class; that they were performing their job at a level that met their employer’s legitimate expectations; and that they suffered an adverse employment under circumstances that give rise to an inference of unlawful discrimination.
If the individual can establish a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. Once the employer articulates a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the decision, the individual must produce sufficient competent evidence to support an inference that the employer’s articulated reasons are merely a pretext for discrimination.
Consult With an Experienced New Jersey Employment Lawyer
Unlawful discrimination often negatively impacts an individual’s physical and emotional well-being. As such, it is important to retain an attorney that you trust. The Employment Lawyers at CMS understand this and empathize with the clients, utilizing their vast experience to strongly advocate for their clients and provide strategic legal advice to help them navigate through their complex legal issues. If you are in need of legal representation to assist you with an employment discrimination matter and/or are in need of the services of an experienced and well-versed New Jersey employment lawyer, please contact Curcio Mirzaian Sirot LLC.