The NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD) requires employers to make employment decisions without regard to a person’s gender. An employer is not supposed to judge employees based on whether they are a woman or a man. If an employer does take gender into account in making employment decisions, the employer may be subject to liability under the LAD.
Employees are first protected from harassment that is based on gender. If an employee is subjected to offensive remarks or conduct based on their sex, an employee can sue based on a hostile work environment. An employee must show that the harassing behavior is severe or pervasive. A single remark that involves offensive language can sometimes be viewed as “severe” enough to create a hostile work environment. The term “pervasive” refers to many remarks or actions over a period of time.
The most prevalent form of hostile work environment involves sexual harassment. There are two types of sexual harassment. The first is quid pro quo sexual harassment. In this form of sexual harassment, an employee is required to provide sexual favors as a condition of employment.
The second type of sexual harassment is hostile work environment. In this form of sexual harassment, an employee is subjected to offensive remarks that are sexually charged.
A person who is subjected to sexual harassment can recover lost wages, emotional distress, attorneys fees and punitive damages in a successful lawsuit.
An employer is also barred from considering the gender of its workers when making employment decisions. If an employer treats workers differently because of their gender, that employer may be subject to liability under New Jersey’s discrimination law. Examples of gender discrimination can include differences in pay or promotion. They can also include differences in the way that employees are evaluated or disciplined.
New Jersey’s discrimination law has also been amended to include pregnancy as a protected class. Employers are now required to accommodate a pregnant woman, if such accommodation is needed. Additionally, an employer can not single out or treat a pregnant woman differently in employment decisions.
Ron Wronko is one of the most well-regarded gender discrimination lawyers in NJ. He has handled many gender discrimination, sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination cases in New Jersey. For instance, he won a trial in Emmons v. AT&T in New Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey Superior Court. In that trial, plaintiff Emmons had sued, in part, for pregnancy discrimination. Mr. Wronko also obtained a successful result after a two week trial in Tafur v. Plainfield Board of Education in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey Superior Court. If you would like an initial telephone consultation on a potential gender or pregnancy discrimination claim, please call (973) 360-1001.