New Jersey law doesn’t only prohibit sexual harassment, although that’s the most commonly encountered type. The second most common form of discriminatory harassment is racial harassment, also sometimes called ethnic harassment. Sometimes, the concepts of ethnicity, race and national origin (defined as country of origin) can become even further mixed and blurred. Victims of harassment of these types still have remedies under New Jersey workplace harassment law even when they’re not members of clearly different ‘races.’
For example, any racial harassment based on ethnicity, national origin or race is illegal, even if that harassment comes from someone of the same race as the victim. For example, when someone of British nationality harasses someone just because the victim is from Ireland, it’s illegal, even though both people are Caucasian. The same is true, of course, when someone from Trinidad harasses someone else just because that person is from Jamaica, even though both are of African extraction, and so on.
Harassment Based On Race Or Race Perception
It’s also important to remember that harassment based upon perception of race, nationality or ethnicity is also illegal. When someone is being racially harassed because the harasser believes the victim is of a certain race, ethnicity or national origin, even when the victim isn’t, that victim may bring a claim. Workplace harassment law in New Jersey doesn’t forgive ‘accidental bigots.’
It’s not OK to use racially or ethnically abusive language. It’s not OK to racially harass or intimidate someone just because he or she is from a certain country. If you believe you’re being victimized in this fashion, call Costello & Mains to speak with a New Jersey racial harassment attorney. You might be entitled to compensatory damages, punitive damages and other relief. We can help.