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New Jersey Law Prohibits COVID-19-Related Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination encompasses a wide variety of different aspects. When an individual is treated differently or less favorably for any reason, discrimination in the workplace has taken place. Under laws enforced by the EEOC, there are worker protections that assist workers who have fallen victim to unfair treatment, harassment, denial of a reasonable workplace change, and many other factors.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have also faced discrimination in the workplace, a level of discrimination that is not tolerated in New Jersey. At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, our lawyers put clients first to ensure that their needs are being met and discrimination will not be tolerated for employees. Contact us at (856) 209-6087 for more information.

Understanding New Jersey Assembly Bill 3848

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is responsible for signing New Jersey Assembly Bill 3848 into place on March 20, 2020, which provides protections for employees who take leave related to COVID-19. The Act was signed as a response to the pandemic and is meant to stand up for the rights of employees who choose to take time off at work because they might be or have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Act provides protections so that an employer is not able to terminate or refuse to reinstate an employee who likely has the disease and has to miss work. This Act is active through the entirety of the ongoing Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor. Employees have specific protections stating that they cannot be retaliated against or penalized if they choose to take this type of leave away from work. A professionally licensed medical physician should give written or electronically submitted documentation to the employer that says that the employee should have this time off because of the infectious disease.

When the protected leave time expires, employers are expected to restore the employee to the same position that they held before they took the expected leave. This means that they should not lose out on any benefits or pay that they held before they chose to take the leave from work. If the position was filled, then the employee must be reinstated to a position that is equivalent in pay, benefits, and every other term of employment.

If the employer refuses these requirements, they could receive an administrative penalty of approximately $2,500 for each individual violation.

Exceptions to New Jersey Assembly Bill 3848

Even when the employee is on protected leave, there are exceptions where employment action is not considered retaliatory. These include the following:

  • There was a reduction in force that would have affected the employee if they were at work
  • The employee would have been impacted by a layoff, which would not entitle them to return to their position

Filing a Complaint Due to COVID-19 Employment Discrimination

If you believe that you have been impacted by COVID-19-related employment discrimination, it is imperative that you act quickly to file a claim against your employer so that the matter can be thoroughly investigated. You will file, with the help of your attorney, with the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and a hearing will be conducted. The Wage Collection Referee will summon the employer and any witnesses and issue a decision based on the facts of the case.

At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, we will walk you through this process so that you can receive remedies as soon as possible. You have many options available to you through New Jersey laws.

Contact a Marlton Employment Lawyer to Discuss Your Workplace Discrimination Case

Feeling as if you are being discriminated against, particularly if it affects your income, can feel troubling. If you are dealing with discrimination in the workplace, you should speak with a knowledgeable employment lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced employment law attorneys at Attorneys Hartman, Chartered represent clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Moorestown, Marlton, and all across New Jersey. Call 856-209-6087 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a consultation about your case. Our main office is located at 68 East Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.