A Step-by-step Guide to Filing a Discrimination Claim

Age discrimination claim in the court.

Discrimination is against the law. The best way for businesses to avoid claims of discrimination is to have well-trained management and a comprehensive discrimination policy. However, even with the best leaders and people who have the best intentions, complaints of discrimination may still occur. There are a few different options in regard to filing a claim for discrimination, including taking court action. An employment lawyer New Jersey can discuss with you in detail when a discrimination claim can be filed, how to file the claim, and what information you will need in order to pursue the claim. Here is some brief information about filing a discrimination claim or working in a hostile work environment NJ.

When to File a Discrimination Claim

Employment lawyers New Jersey are excellent resources for those who have experienced workplace discrimination. Federal laws against discrimination provide employees protection against retaliation for asserting their rights to be free from workplace discrimination. Discrimination in the workplace occurs when a job candidate or an employee is treated unfavorably because of:

  • Age-With a few rare exceptions, businesses are prohibited from specifying an age preference in advertisements for jobs. As an employee, you are entitled to the same benefits as other employees, regardless of your age.
  • Disability-Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and applicants, which means an employer, cannot refuse to hire a candidate that is disabled purely because of their disability and reasonable accommodations must be made, such as physical changes or changes in the workday schedule.
  • Sex and gender-Employers must provide men and women equal pay for equal work.
  • Pregnancy-Employers are required to deal with pregnancy in the same way they would deal with other non-permanent or temporary illnesses that don’t require special considerations.
  • Race-It is against the law to treat an employee or an applicant unfavorably because of personal characteristics associated with race or because of a certain race. It is also illegal to treat someone unfavorably because of their skin color (color discrimination).
  • Religion-Discriminating against someone for their religious customs or beliefs is also illegal. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for their employee’s religious beliefs, as long as it doesn’t have an excessive negative consequence for the employer.

How to File a Discrimination Claim

Filing can be a complicated question where legal advice might be needed. Federal laws might
require an initial EEOC filing. State law actions might not need an EEOC review. An employee of the State of New Jersey might be barred from federal claims under the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In short, employees should never take chances with their important rights. I recommend a consultation with an experienced attorney.  If you have experienced workplace discrimination based on any of the above, there are some important steps you should take to file a claim with the Equal employment opportunity commission:

  1. Determine if unlawful discrimination has occurred. If you aren’t sure if discrimination against you has happened, contact an employment lawyer New Jersey to discuss your questions and concerns.
  2. Make a complaint
  3. Understand the deadlines to file a claim. All discrimination claims have a statute of limitations. In the majority of cases, you must file within 180 to 300 days of the date you believe you were discriminated against, depending on the claim is filed with. So the sooner you file your claim the stronger the case will be.
  4. Consult with employment attorneys in NJ. In some situations, you may not need to hire an attorney or file a lawsuit, but if your case isn’t resolved, such as through mediation, you may need to pursue a lawsuit. In which case, you will need to be represented by one of the experienced employment lawyers New Jersey residents depend on.

What Information You’ll Need

When meeting with your attorney, Ashton E. Thomas, about filing a discrimination claim, it’s important to have as much information regarding the reason you feel discriminated against. For instance, you will need to bring the name of the person that discriminated against you, any letters, emails, or other documents that may be used as evidence of the unfair treatment. You’ll also need to provide the date on which the incident occurred, who was present, and the details of the situation.

It’s important to understand that a hostile work environment is created when discrimination or harassment interferes with an employee’s job performance or the work environment becomes difficult or offensive because of the discrimination and/or harassment. There is a difference between harassment and discrimination; however, harassment is a form of discrimination. An attorney experienced in client claims of a hostile work environment NJ can help you with the questions and concerns you may have regarding hostile working environments and/or discrimination. Your attorney can also help you with the process of filing a claim and represent you in court if needed.