Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, gender discrimination is the unfair treatment of an employee based solely on the person’s gender. Unfortunately, gender discrimination in the workplace continues to be a very serious problem in this country. New Jersey state laws are particularly tough against gender discrimination. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits employers from subjecting employees to differential treatment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, or other gender-related characteristics.
Amendments to the NJLAD
In recent years, amendments have been made to the NJLAD that provide even greater protections against gender discrimination. In January 2018, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that added breastfeeding as a protected class under the NJLAD. The Amendment states that it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee for breastfeeding or expressing milk for her child. In addition, the Amendment requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to nursing mothers.
The following highlights the differences between the breastfeeding protections provided by the NJLAD compared to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
- All New Jersey employees are protected by the NJLAD, whereas the FLSA protections only apply to non-exempt workers.
- Small businesses may not be covered by the FLSA break-time-for-nursing-mothers provision if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship on the business. The NJLAD also includes an undue hardship exception but does not limit the exception to small businesses.
- Under the FLSA, protections to accommodate nursing mothers end when the child turns one. The NJLAD does not specify a time limit, nor does it specify when the nursing child is necessarily an infant.
In April 2018, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act was signed into law, which provides greater equal pay protections for employees in New Jersey. The Act states that employers may not pay an employee who is in a protected class less than an employee who is not a member of a protected class unless the employer can show the following:
- The difference in pay is based on legitimate factors, such as advanced training, education, or experience.
- The above factors are not based on gender, or any other protected characteristic.
- Each of the legitimate factors are applied reasonably.
- At least one of the factors accounts for the difference in wage.
- The factors are related to the position in question and based on business necessities.
Examples of Gender Discrimination
Unfortunately, there are countless ways that an employee can be discriminated against for their gender. The following are examples of gender discrimination:
- Unequal pay
- Unfair interview questions
- Unbalanced responsibilities
- Positions, promotions, and roles
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Unfair termination
- Sexual harassment
Proving a Discrimination Case
If you have been discriminated against at work, it is important to act. According to the NJLAD, if you plan to pursue legal action, you must do so within two years of the discriminatory act and prove the following:
- You are in a protected class
- You were meeting the legitimate expectations of your employer
- You were suspended, demoted, terminated, or experienced some other negative job action
- You were replaced by someone who is not in your protected class, or the employment action was related to your gender
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Protect Victims of Gender Discrimination
If you have been discriminated against by your employer, you are urged to contact the South Jersey employment lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC. We take gender discrimination cases very seriously and will take every step necessary to protect your legal rights. Our experienced and dedicated team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 856-751-5505 or contact us online. Our offices are in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, where we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.