Articles Posted in Military Service Discrimination

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Members of the uniformed services and the reserves provide an invaluable sacrifice for their country. One way that the country “pays back” its uniformed servicemembers is by ensuring that they are given a “fair shake” at their civilian jobs and not discriminated against due to their military status. That is true under both federal law and New Jersey law. If your employer has mistreated you because of your military status, you may be entitled to a judgment or settlement and substantial compensation. Reach out right away to a knowledgeable New Jersey military status discrimination lawyer to find out more about the actions you can take.

A very recent military leave ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings directly control federal lawsuits in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware), represents a significant victory for all uniformed service members in New Jersey.

The plaintiff, G.T., was a Petty Officer, First Class in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve for two decades, from 1990 to 2010.  In 1996, he began a job as a courier with a major shipping company. Military reservists are required to participate in monthly “drill,” which is one weekend per month. They also are obligated to complete annual training, which is two weeks per year.

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Men and women who serve or have served in the military have made many sacrifices. One of the sacrifices members of the military should not have to make is tolerating a workplace with discrimination and harassment. If you are serving or have served, and you are experiencing this type of workplace mistreatment, you may be entitled to a judgment and substantial compensation. You should get in touch with a knowledgeable New Jersey workplace discrimination lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

K.K. allegedly was one of those service members who did have to endure such mistreatment. According to an report, he was a Marine who, after leaving military service, became a police officer. However, while serving on a force for a borough in Somerset County, he was on the receiving end of an extensive string of offensive comments and other workplace harassment, according to his lawsuit.

Allegedly, the police chief told K.K., who was injured while serving in Iraq and experienced PTSD as a result, after the latter had performed poorly on a shooting exercise, “if you put your gun in your mouth, you wouldn’t miss.” Again noting K.K.’s poor shooting performance, the chief questioned the quality of K.K.’s military service with alleged taunts such as “I thought Marines could shoot, what … kind of Marine are you?”

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Police officers — and law enforcement agencies generally — have come under increased scrutiny in recent months and years. Major news sources have focused extensively on the misuse of deadly force in interacting with suspects.

While that problem affects members of the community generally, there is an additional very real problem that affects some of the service-minded people who work, or desire to work, in law enforcement. That problem is discrimination and sexual harassment, and it affects a wide swath of people who wear a badge or seek to do so, including women and LGBT people. If you’ve suffered illegal discrimination or harassment while working in law enforcement (or applying for a law enforcement position,) then you should act promptly to reach out to an experienced New Jersey sex / gender discrimination attorney about your legal options.

One group that is especially affected by the harassment and discrimination that goes on inside law enforcement is women. Even today, very few women are employed as police officers. Nationally, that number is somewhere between 10 and 15%. In many New Jersey cities and towns, that number is lower. For example, in North Brunswick, where one female officer recently sued for discrimination and sexual harassment, reported that only five of 85 officers (6%) were females.

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A New Jersey police officer’s successful lawsuit asserting both military service and sexual orientation discrimination ended with a damages award that exceeded $1.75 million, according to a recent report. While what the employee endured was terrible, the outcome of his case is educational to others working in New Jersey in multiple ways. The outcome should remind any New Jersey worker victimized by discrimination that they have options, and that those options can lead to substantial compensation. Contact an experienced New Jersey employment attorney right away to learn more about the options you have in your discrimination case.

The police officer, K.H., worked in the Monmouth County borough of Sea Girt. The officer was a member of the Navy reserves during his time with the Sea Girt police. According to the report, the officer’s chief made statements that indicated that the chief thought the officer was a gay man or was bisexual. (He was neither.)

The chief engaged in a lengthy pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination. According to the officer’s lawsuit filing, the chief:

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