Wrongful Discharge / Wrongful Termination
If you work in New Jersey, there are both state and federal laws that protect you against unlawful employment discrimination as well as retaliation. Discrimination can take many forms including discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, handicap, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ethnicity or other protected legal categories.
A claim of discrimination can be made through a Complaint filed through the state court system with the Superior Court of New Jersey or, in certain circumstances, through the federal court system with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Certain types of claims for discrimination and retaliation can also be filed with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Claims can be asserted under state laws such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et. seq., and the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) as well as under various federal laws including Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act as well as 42 U.S.C. 1983.
In most discrimination and retaliation cases, there is no “smoking gun” or direct evidence that a decision was based upon discriminatory or retaliatory considerations. However, under the law it is not necessary that a person have hard or direct evidence that the action taken against them was based upon a discriminatory or retaliatory reason. Rather, discrimination or retaliation is often proven through circumstantial or indirect evidence of discriminatory intent including evidence that the employer’s reason for taking action against the employee or terminating the employee is false, that the employer failed to follow certain policies and procedures, evidence of statements that may have been made, the timing, circumstances, inferences and other evidence which establish that the employer has lied or that the employer’s reason for firing the employee or taking other adverse action is unworthy of belief.
To speak with an experienced New Jersey Employment Law Attorney, contact the Law Offices of Gregory S. Schaer, LLC, conveniently located in Monmouth County, New Jersey.