Gender, Identity, and Sex Discrimination
Gender or sex discrimination in the workplace is a cancer. New Jersey is strongly committed to eradicating gender and sex discrimination in the workplace. Gender discrimination can be defined simply as being treated differently at work based on gender. This is a broad category, encompassing many issues surrounding or related to gender, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, gender identity, gender expression, and orientation. Though not as frequently talked about, men also may experience gender discrimination at work.
Gender discrimination may take many forms and affect employment factors such as salary, promotions, hiring decisions, benefits and compensation packages, job assignments, commissions and bonuses, and terminations and layoffs. When gender discrimination occurs in the form of unwanted advances, touching, or a hostile work environment, it is defined as sexual harassment, which is also prohibited by law.
Despite federal legislation such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, women continue to be paid less and have fewer opportunities available to them than their male counterparts. To further combat this “glass ceiling,” in April of 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an aggressive pay equity bill meant to address the pervasive wage gap between male and female workers. Known as the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, the law prohibits unequal pay between men and women for “substantially similar work.”
At Levine Staller, our Atlantic County employment discrimination lawyers are dedicated to fighting employment discrimination and can provide skilled legal counsel and representation to those whose rights have been violated.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
In New Jersey, workers enjoy the protection of strong state laws against workplace discrimination. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects more groups than current federal regulations and is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure its continued effectiveness.
When employers treat people differently because of their gender, they violate the NJLAD. This means that all employers regardless of gender, sex, or identity, must be treated equally when it comes to hiring, firing, discipline promotions, and pay. Levine Staller has represented both men and women in gender discrimination cases.
Archaic and stereotypical views on gender can cause employers to engage in illegal practices such as passing a person for promotion or paying an employee less due to gender.
All too often women who are pregnant or who have young children experience difficulties securing a job, receiving equal pay, or advancing at a company because of their caretaker status. Although the law is designed to protect women from discrimination, all too often pregnancy can knock a woman off the corporate ladder. This discrimination can be overt, such as being fired, or more subtle such as being stripped of her job duties, or given less favorable job assignments.
The NJLAD defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment falls into two types: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer implicitly or explicitly threatens adverse employment actions if the employee does not submit to sexual demands. In other words, the sexual acts become a condition of employment or advancement in the workplace. The employee may fear termination, loss of benefits or training, a poor evaluation, or demotion if they do not comply.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment happens when an employee must endure sexual, abusive, or offensive conduct because of his or her gender. A hostile work environment does not have to involve physical contact, and the offensive conduct does not have to be sexual in nature. If a person experiences non-sexual taunts or negative treatment based on their gender or other protected status, this can be considered a hostile and abusive work environment under the NJLAD.
Filing a Claim for Gender Discrimination
Some employers are deliberate in their discrimination. Others may not even realize they have a gender bias and truly believe that men and women should work in traditional roles. They may have been conditioned to believe outdated notions such as the idea that women cannot be good leaders and men are better at physical work. Whether intentional or unintentional, gender discrimination is still against the law.
If you are a victim of employment discrimination, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced employment discrimination lawyer in Atlantic City who can explain your legal options for pursuing justice and compensation.
Atlantic County Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Levine Staller Advocate for Victims of Gender Discrimination
If you have experienced discrimination on the job, contact the skilled Atlantic City employment discrimination lawyers at Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, P.A. for help. Our legal team will fight to hold your employer accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 609-348-1300 or complete our online contact form. From our offices in Atlantic City, we represent clients throughout New Jersey including communities in Atlantic County, Ocean County, and Cape May County.