New Jersey employers are subject to anti-discrimination laws. Most are familiar with racial and gender discrimination provisions. However, many are unaware of the fact that an employer also cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin. If they do, they may be subject to legal action.

Discrimination protection in this area is broader than many employees think. The obvious things that are forbidden are disparate treatment in hiring and firing decisions. Moreover, pay and promotions are also covered by anti-discrimination provisions. The protection is even broader because it bars any type of discrimination based on the employee’s spouse. In other words, the employer cannot discriminate because the employee is married to someone of a certain origin. This discrimination is based on the employer’s mindset. For example, some employers have discriminated against Sikh workers because they thought they were Muslim. Even if the employer was mistaken, they may still be subject to a discrimination action.

These protections also extend to the working environment to which an employee is subjected to on the job. If there is an atmosphere of widespread joking and teasing that crosses a line, there could be grounds for a discrimination action. While not every joke is cause for a lawsuit, the environment can become unbearable for an employee by singling them out for cruel treatment.

Employees who are subject to discrimination in hiring, firing, or while on the job may have a legal action for discrimination. They should hire an employment law attorney to further explore what their legal rights are in this case. The attorney might be able to receive damages for the harm that they have suffered. It is difficult to deal with legal issues in the workplace without any help, and an attorney may assist with handling the situation.