Of course, discrimination against you because you are a member of a protected classification is illegal, based upon race, sex, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, perceived disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, etc.
But did you know that it is also illegal to discriminate against you because you are closely associated with someone who is a member of a protected group? It is.
If, for example, you are a Caucasian person married to an African American person, and your job discriminates against you because you married a person of a different ethnicity, you have the right to bring a discrimination claim under New Jersey law. In addition, you have the right to bring a discrimination or retaliation claim under New Jersey Law simply because you are the close relative, friend, supporter or encourager of someone who is protected from discrimination and who claims that they have suffered discrimination.
Being “closely associated” with someone in a protected group is sometimes a fact-sensitive question, since the nature of the relationship, its length and its type is important. But just because you are not yourself a member of a protected group that is being discriminated against, if you are closely associated with someone who is, you may have the right to bring claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination for discrimination, hostile work place and retaliation.