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What should I do if I believe I am the victim of unlawful discrimination by my employer?

There are at least twelve specific classes protected by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, but the most common unlawful situations involve discrimination based upon age, race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation.

If you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination because of membership in one of the above classes, you should immediately complain, in writing, to the person or department designated to receive such complaints, making sure to include the date, the complete factual information, and the specific complaint that you feel you have been discriminated against because of your class status (i.e. age, race, gender, etc.). It is very important to include your class status, since a complaint of that nature invokes additional protections against retaliation for having made such a complaint. This is also important because discrimination that is not based upon a protected class is not unlawful, and a complaint that does not specify that the discrimination is as a result of being a member of a protected class does not afford protection against retaliation.

If there is no anti-discrimination procedure in place, you should submit your written complaint to the highest ranking supervisor at your worksite, even if he/ she is a supervisor who has participated in the conduct about which you are complaining. If you are uncertain about the content of your complaint letter, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney to give you the necessary guidance.

– Mark Pfeffer (Bio)

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