Articles Posted in Sex / Marital Status Discrimination

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equal payIn recent days, the gender pay gap has been in the headlines with increasing frequency. One of the most nefarious ways to perpetrate gender discrimination, while still maintaining the appearance of objectivity, is to base an employee’s earnings on what she made in her previous jobs. That practice is soon to be illegal in New Jersey. Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order banning the practice of basing pay on salary history in all state government jobs. Now, the governor has indicated his intent to sign a bill that goes beyond just addressing gender pay equity issues and will stand as one of the most powerful pay equity laws anywhere, protecting workers within a multitude of protected groups, according to an nj.com report.

The issue of pay equity has been an important one to the New Jersey legislature for some time. Both houses had passed previous bills requiring pay equity, but the previous governor vetoed those bills. This session, the legislature passed Senate Bill 104, which the governor indicated on Equal Pay Day that he would sign in late April, nj.com reported.

One of the bill’s sponsors stated in the nj.com report that, once SB104 becomes law, New Jersey will have “the most rigorous protections against pay discrimination.” This pending New Jersey employment discrimination law makes it an illegal employment practice under the Law Against Discrimination to provide a worker who is a member of a protected class with lower pay or lesser benefits when that worker is performing work that is commensurate with higher-paid employees who are not members of any protected classes.

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GovernorEffective Oct. 31, 2017, a new New York City law went into effect that declared inquiries into a prospective employee’s salary history to be a discriminatory practice. Earlier this year, New Jersey took an important first step toward providing similar protections to Garden State employees. The state’s new governor signed an executive order that bans the practice of salary history inquiries with regard to all hiring of public employees. The new order, which the new governor signed mere hours after his inauguration and which went into effect on Feb. 1, is intended to reduce the gender wage gap, nj.com reported. Whether it is illegal questions within a job interview or any other prohibited practice, if you think that you have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace, it is important to contact a knowledgeable New Jersey sex discrimination attorney right away.

The New York City law bans employers from asking about a prospective employee’s current and past earnings, and it goes further. The law says that, if the employer already has knowledge of the prospective employee’s current or past salary, it is forbidden from using that information in determining the compensation it will provide to that employee. The law also prohibits a prospective employer from asking a candidate’s current or previous employers salary history questions and bans searching publicly available records for that information.

The New Jersey executive order protecting public employees similarly bars employers from asking potential employees about their current or past salaries and also prohibits taking steps to investigate how much the potential employee makes or made in the past.

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guard towerA recent report from the Trentonian discussed a female corrections officer’s successful sex discrimination case. The jury in the case returned a verdict that awarded the employee just under $317,000 in damages. The report also noted that the woman, who was white, has a second discrimination lawsuit – this one for race discrimination – still pending. The officer’s discrimination-based legal actions highlight several useful bits of knowledge regarding who can pursue discrimination claims and whether or not you can bring multiple discrimination actions. Whether your case involves one basis for claiming illegal workplace discrimination or several, it pays to have an experienced New Jersey sex discrimination attorney on your side.

The employee, Jennifer, was a senior corrections officer at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. According to the officer, her supervisor, Zsuzsanna, treated her less favorably than Jennifer’s male peers, according to the Trentonian report. It is important to note that, in order to have a successful discrimination case, you do not have to prove that you and the person who committed the discrimination were of different groups. In other words, a female employee can have a winning case of sex discrimination even if the supervisor who is doing the discriminating is also a woman. The female employee only needs to prove that she was treated less favorably than her male counterparts.

For Jennifer, the alleged discrimination included verbal insults (“idiot”) and re-assignment to a less desirable position (while her old position was filled by a man). At one point, Jennifer was allegedly ordered to “haul multiple food-cart loads and deliver boxes of food that weighed 300 to 400 pounds” by herself, a job usually carried out by mailroom workers. This solo assignment, Jennifer asserted, represented a clear signal to others that Jennifer was being punished by upper management. After completing this assignment, the officer developed a stress fracture in her back.

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PoliceA jury in a federal court in New Jersey recently decided that a woman, who was a township’s first female police officer and who did receive full health benefits upon retirement, won her federal case asserting that her employer engaged in sex discrimination. Having found the employer liable for discrimination, the jury then awarded the officer $355,000 in damages to compensate for past and future health insurance expenses, the Union News Daily reported.

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Wedding ringNew Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination is one of the more robust anti-discrimination laws in the country. New Jersey law says that people shouldn’t suffer harm, on the job and in certain other settings, as a result of “invidious stereotypes” about their race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. A ruling from last year handed down by the New Jersey Supreme Court sided with an employer because his employer did exactly what the law prohibits – engaged in harmful stereotyping. The employer terminated the employee, who was having an extramarital affair and getting divorced, since it feared the divorce would be “ugly.” That, the high court concluded, should have allowed the employee to pursue a claim of marital status discrimination.

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