LGBT Employment Issues

McLaughlin & Nardi’s New Jersey employment lawyers represent employees who have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, or for related issues.

New Jersey Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Discrimination has been a cancer for our society throughout its history. Perhaps the final frontier is LGBT discrimination.

Fortunately, New Jersey provides perhaps the strongest legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees in the nation, indeed considerably more than is offered by federal law. New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination expressly prohibits discrimination because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and for a host of other reasons of particular importance to the LGBT community, including “familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression… and AIDS and HIV status.” Indeed, while same sex marriage is not yet legal in New Jersey, discrimination based on an employee’s intimate relationships, and probably even same sex marriage in another state, are protected.

Despite this protection, however, discrimination because of employees’ sexual orientation continues to be commonplace.

LGBT Discrimination

Prohibited discrimination against LGBT employees can take many forms. It can be direct, tangible actions against the employee, such as firing, demotion, transfer, and similar actions. It can be passive acts or omissions, such as not giving a raise, failing to give a bonus, or not promoting a person. Indeed, letting employees go because of their LGBT status is illegal even if it is done as part of a layoff or reduction in force. Moreover, it is not only LGBT employees who are protected – heterosexual employees cannot be discriminated against for their orientation either.

LGBT discrimination also includes harassment. Harassment likewise takes many forms – too many to imagine them all – but common forms of sexual orientation harassment include degrading or inappropriate jokes and innuendo, derogatory remarks, unwanted touching, verbal or written ridicule or innuendo, intimidation, exclusion, offensive sexual comments, display of offensive or suggestive images or objects, and sexual e-mails.

Both straight and gay employees are also protected from retaliation for objecting to discrimination against themselves or their co-workers for being lesbians, gay, bisexual, transsexual or transgender.

While all forms of discrimination are wrong and damaging, this is even more true for sexual orientation discrimination because LGBT employees often make up a small percentage of the workplace, and are therefore more vulnerable and isolated than other employees.

We are Committed to Fighting LGBT Discrimination

Our dedicated discrimination attorneys are committed to fighting against sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination for any reason related to an employee being in the LGBT community. We fight for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender employees who have been the victims of discrimination or harassment.

Call if You Have Suffered Discrimination Because of Your Sexual Orientation, or Who You Are

If you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment because of your sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity or related matters, e-mail us or call (973) 890-0004. We are committed to fighting for your rights and obtaining justice.

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