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Sexual Orientation is not one of the protected classes pursuant to federal law. However, if an employee falls victim to discrimination, sexual harassment and/or retaliation, and as horrible and depressing that employee may feel as a result, the employee will have one thing to smile about if the discrimination or sexual harassment occurred when the employee is employed in New Jersey. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is considered one of the most aggressive anti-discrimination statutes in the country.
Courts in New Jersey continually recognize that the New Jersey Legislature enacted this statute for the specific purpose of eradicating the cancer of discrimination in the workplace. The LAD is considered such a powerful statute that attorneys in New Jersey do not even consider filing a complaint in federal court. In fact, legal scholars in New Jersey consider the filing of a discrimination lawsuit in a New Jersey federal court legal malpractice. Filing a LAD claim in a New Jersey State court is generally the best option. For this reason, the EEOC is New Jersey is generally not utilized.
In essence, with respect to the three major federal anti-discrimination statutes: Title VII, the ADEA and the ADAAA (formerly known as the ADA), consider all of them combined, with no minimum number of employees and no cap on punitive and compensatory damages. That, in essence, is the LAD. So long as a New Jersey employee files a lawsuit in a New Jersey State court within two years of the discrimination, harassment or retaliation by the employer, the employee can take full advantage of all of the benefits which the LAD has to offer.
The protections available under the LAD are also much more expansive than those offered pursuant to the federal laws. Pursuant to Title VII, the ADEA and the ADAAA (formerly known as the ADA), the following is protected: race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability. The LAD offers protection for each of those protected classes and also protects against discrimination based on numerous protected classes, such as ancestry, sexual orientation, services in the armed forces, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status and civil union status.
Do I need an attorney if I've already been offered a settlement?
The offer you received from the insurance company is almost certainly less than what you are entitled to, by a significant margin. Insurance companies, just like any other business, are structured to maximize their own profits, and in addition to offering a minimal amount in any settlement, they will also commonly employ aggressive tactics against claimants like you to discourage requests for full compensation. We can not only advise you of what your case is really worth, but also provide skilled representation to help you recover damages.
How much is my case worth?
Each personal injury case is unique, and your attorney will consult with you in detail to help you determine the full value of your claim. In any fair settlement, you should expect to receive enough money to cover all your medical bills, from emergency treatment at the scene of the accident to rehabilitative care to help you fully recover. Claims of this nature should also cover the amount of income you will lose due to the injury from missing work or inability to perform on your job, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
A variety of factors will play into how long it takes to get your insurance settlement, from the availability of evidence to support your claim to how cooperative the insurance company is and how effectively you can prepare your case. At our firm, our legal team takes every case seriously and we will do everything possible to achieve a successful resolution for you. We will also keep you informed throughout the entire process about what you may be up against and how long you can expect your case to take.