are the enforcement responsibilities of the New Jersey Division
on Civil Rights?
enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)
and the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA).
does the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibit?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination
on the bases of age, ancestry, color, creed (religion),
disability (including AIDS and HIV infection), genetic
information or the refusal to submit to a genetic test
or make available the results of a genetic test to an
employer, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait,
familial status, liability for military service, marital
status, domestic partnership or civil union status, nationality,
nation origin, race, sex, affectional or sexual orientation,
gender identity or expression. The law protects individuals
against discrimination in employment, housing, public
accommodations and certain business transactions. Not
all characteristics are protected in all areas. The law
also prohibits certain nursing homes or intermediate care
facilities from discriminating against an individual because
he or she is eligible for Medicaid.
does the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provide?
NJFLA requires certain employers to provide eligible employees
up to 12 weeks of family leave to care for a newly born
or adopted child, or for a parent, spouse, or child with
serious health condition.
More Family Leave FAQ's
can I do if I believe my rights have been violated under
may file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil
Rights (Division) within 180 days of the date of the alleged
violation. The complaint must be filed at one of the Division's
five regional offices. Alternatively, you may file a complaint
in the Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey
within two years of the alleged violation (within six
years for incidents which occurred before July 27, 1993).
is a complaint handled by the New Jersey Division on Civil
If your complaint
is accepted by the Division, you are then referred to
as the "complainant" in the matter. A complaint is generally
assigned to a Division investigator. The Division investigator
serves the complaint on the individual and/or entity (respondent)
alleged to have discriminated against you or violated
your rights. Within 20 days of being served, the respondent
must file an answer to the complaint. The investigator
assigned to your case will conduct an investigation which
may include interviews, field visits, and the securing
of medical and/or employment records. Based on the investigation,
the investigator will make a recommendation to the Division's
Director as to whether probable cause or no probable cause
exits to believe the allegations of unlawful conduct are
if the Division's investigation reaches a finding of probable
there is a finding of probable cause, the complainant
and the respondent are notified of the finding and the
Division schedules a conciliation conference with the
respondent. The purpose of conciliation is to determine
if the respondent is interested in settling the matter
without the need for further proceedings. If the Division
can work out an agreement with respondent and the complainant
accepts the agreement, then the matter will be closed.
an agreement cannot be reached, the Director will transmit
the case to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing.
A Deputy Attorney General may be assigned to prosecute
the complaint on behalf of the Division, or the complainant
may retain his/her own counsel. After the hearing, the
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will render an initial
decision which can be accepted, modified, or rejected
by the Director.
the initial decision is accepted, the Director will issue
an order adopting the decision. If the initial decision
is rejected, the Director may reverse the findings of the
ALJ or remand (send back) the case to the ALJ for further
my case is successful, what remedies and/or damages can
the Director order?
among other things, can order the respondent to: cease
and desist from engaging in the unlawful conduct; hire,
promote, or reinstate the complainant into a position;
pay the complainant back pay or damages for pain and humiliation;
reimburse the complainant for loss of fringe benefits;
and restore health benefits, pension benefits, and/or
seniority rights. The Director may also award attorney's
fees and assess penalties of up to $10,000 for a first
offense, $25,000 for a second offense, and $50,000 for
a third offense under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
or the New Jersey Family Leave Act. The final order of
the Director may be appealed to the Appellate Division
of the New Jersey Superior Court, located in Trenton.
A notice of appeal must be filed with the Appellate Division
within 45 days of the Director's Order.
if the Division reaches a finding of no probable cause in
You may file
an appeal with the Appellate Division. The notice of the
appeal must be filed within 45 days of the Division's
finding. Alternatively, under narrowly defined circumstances
and time constraints, a complainant may file a written
motion with the Director of the Division asking the Director
to reconsider a finding of no probable cause or to reopen
I go directly to court with my complaint?
law, an individual may initiate an action in Superior
Court without first filing a complaint with the Division.
Prosecution of your claim in Superior Court, however,
bars the simultaneous filing of a complaint with the Division
or the further processing of a complaint which has already
been filed with the Division. If you file an action in
Superior Court, you are entitled to a jury trial and,
if you win your case, a judge or jury may award you compensatory
damages (such as back pay, reinstatement, promotion, pain
and humiliation) and punitive damages.
if, after I have filed my complaint with the Division, I
decide I do not want my complaint investigated by the Division?
You may request
the Division to transfer your case to the Office of Administrative
Law for a hearing, and at the hearing you can present
your case personally, or obtain an attorney to represent
you. However, you must wait 180 days after filing your
complaint before you can request the Division to transfer
your case. Your case will not be transferred to the Office
of Administrative Law when the Director of the Division
has reached a finding of no probable cause or the complaint
has been otherwise dismissed. You may also withdraw your
complaint from the Division and, if otherwise permitted
by law, file a civil lawsuit in state or federal court.
I need a lawyer to represent me before the Division?
You do not
need a lawyer to represent you before the Division. Some
individuals may decide to consult with or retain the services
of an attorney during the investigation and hearing stages
depending on the complexity of the case and financial
resources of the individual. If the Director issues a
finding of probable cause, your case may be prosecuted
at the hearing by a Deputy Attorney General on behalf
of the Division at no cost to you.
can't I open the file I downloaded from this site?
The file you
downloaded might be a PDF (Portable Document Format) document.
You may need to download the latest version of Adobe's
(FREE) Acrobat Reader in order to correctly view and
print PDF files.
I am fired for unlawful reasons under the LAD or the FLA,
do I have an obligation to find other employment while my
case is being reviewed by the Division?
In the event that you are ultimately successful in your
claim, your damages award, if any, may be reduced to the
extent that you did not take reasonable steps to mitigate
(lessen) your damages by seeking other employment.
you are unable to find other employment, you should at
least be able to provide detailed documentation of your
attempts to do so.
view the full Civil Rights statute click
here for Title 10 Civil Rights