Ethnicity/National Origin Harassment
Under both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and also under Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to expose someone to hostile, intimidating or abusive conduct in the workplace simply because that person possesses traits associated with, or is a member of, a particular ethnic or national group.
There’s quite a bit of philosophical and other debate about the difference between the word “race” and “ethnicity.” The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination based upon both, and so the words have little meaning now. It is the opinion of the attorneys at Costello & Mains that all human beings are members of the “human race,” and that there is only the concept of “ethnicity” that creates surface differences between us.
Unfortunately, not everyone takes that enlightened and progressive view. Some employers, either because they themselves are bigots or they are worried that their customers will be bigots, take issue with people who possess particular ethnic traits or who are from a particular country. Sometimes, bigoted employers are not even certain about the person’s ethnicity or national origin. That’s why the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination protects against “perceived” ethnicity and national origin, because we don’t want to tolerate bigotry even when the employer is mistaken.
People who are demoted, fired, terminated, wrongfully discharged or who suffer other adverse employment action, or who are exposed to a hostile, intimidating or abusive working environment, have the right to bring a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination for workplace harassment predicated upon national origin or ethnicity.
Employers who permit such conduct, or who undertake such conduct, may be liable for compensatory and punitive damages, back pay, front pay, reinstatement and attorneys’ fees under the New Jersey LAD.
The progressive New Jersey employment civil rights attorneys at Costello & Mains, LLC, have been at the forefront of prohibiting ethnicity and national origin discrimination in New Jersey for nearly 30 years. If you or a loved one has experienced that type of workplace harassment, this type of hostility, intimidation or abuse, and race ethnicity or national origin is a factor, contact the Mount Laurel employment and civil rights attorneys at Costello & Mains, LLC We accept matters throughout the State of New Jersey. We can help.