New Jersey Retaliation Lawyer
Workers in New Jersey are protected from discrimination and harassment by a number of different state and federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Employees also have rights and protections under various wage and hour laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, New Jersey Wage Payment Law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. While all of these laws are valuable and important, none of them would be any good if employees were afraid to speak up when a law was violated. That’s why lawmakers are sure to include provisions in these laws protecting workers from retaliation for exercising their rights under the law.
Retaliation is a serious matter, and if you’ve been retaliated at work for engaging in a protected activity, you have the right to sue and collect substantial financial compensation for the harm inflicted on you by your employer’s unlawful acts. The New Jersey employment law attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo can help you stand up for your rights and stand up against any retaliation you experience. If you were fired, demoted, harassed, or suffered any adverse consequences after requesting leave, a reasonable accommodation, or reporting discrimination or illegal conduct, contact our New Jersey retaliation lawyers for immediate assistance.
Examples of Protected Activity
Antidiscrimination statutes and wage and hour laws prohibit employers from retaliating against individuals who engage in protected activity. According to the United States Department of Labor, protected activity includes:
- Opposing a practice the employee considers to be discriminatory (the “opposition clause”)
- Participating in an employment discrimination proceeding (the “participation clause”)
- Engaging in other protected activity
The Opposition Clause
Opposing a discriminatory practice involves communicating to your employer or an agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) your good-faith belief that the company engaged in unlawful discrimination. This could include discrimination that you personally experienced or that you witnessed being perpetrated on others. Opposing discrimination could take the form of complaining to your supervisor or a government agency, threatening to file a complaint, picketing, or refusing to do something you believe is discriminatory.
The Participation Clause
This clause protects employees who participate in or cooperate with an internal or external investigation by consenting to be interviewed, serving as a witness, or filing a formal charge of employment discrimination.
Other Protected Activity
Employees are also protected from retaliation for requesting a reasonable accommodation in the workplace based on disability or religion. This can include requests for modifications to the workspace, access to separate facilities, additional break periods, modified work schedules, and more.
The NJ LAD also prohibits retaliation and has both an “opposition clause” and a “participation clause.” Additionally, LAD retaliation provisions make it illegal for an employer “to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this act.”
Examples of Retaliation
Any adverse action which is taken as a way to punish an employee or keep them from opposing discrimination, participating in a proceeding, or requesting an accommodation can be seen as unlawful retaliation. Some of the most common forms that retaliation takes include:
- Failure to hire
- Denial of job benefits
- Denial of a promotion
- Negative reviews
- Oral or written reprimands or other discipline
How Poulos LoPiccolo Can Help With New Jersey Retaliation Claims
If you were retaliated against at work, you might have a claim against your employer for unlawful retaliation. If successful on your claim, you could recover the value of lost wages and benefits and other legal damages, including punitive damages in appropriate circumstances. A retaliation case may seem fairly straightforward, but it is not always easy to prove. Essentially, you will need to prove the following elements:
- You engaged in protected activity
- Your employer knew about it
- Your employer took some adverse action against you
- You can prove a link between the protected activity and the adverse action
Our experienced New Jersey employment law attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and build a strong case proving the retaliation. We’ll be prepared to present that case to your employer, a government agency like EEOC or DCR, or the courts if necessary to vindicate your rights and recover whatever compensation is due to you.
New Jersey Retaliation Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
If you were fired, harassed or otherwise mistreated at work because you complained about discrimination, participated in an investigation or legal proceeding, or requested leave or an accommodation, the New Jersey employment law attorneys at Poulos LoPiccolo can help right the wrong that has been done to you. Call our experienced NJ retaliation lawyers today.